Most people with homes have lawns that need to be taken care of. And most of us believe that a well-manicured lawn is an essential part of the dream of home ownership. The problem is that all this grass is bad for the environment. Grass for lawns is very thirsty and takes a lot of water. Plus, lawns can trap heat, causing nitrous oxide emissions.
However, there are ways to make your lawn more environmentally friendly and it all starts with how you mow it.
- Avoid Gas-Powered Mowers – Don’t add to environmental problems by using gas-powered mowers. It might seem as if the mower uses very little gas, but it’s enough to directly affect the environment. It can be amazing the difference each person can make by choosing to use non-gas powered equipment to work on their lawn.
- Use a Manual Push Mower - The very best way to mow your lawn is to use a manual push mower. The reason is that just one hour of using a gas-powered mower is like going on a 100-mile trip in terms of emissions. The main reason is that gas mowers aren’t regulated in the same way as automobiles.
- Mow High – Instead of mowing the lawn low, you can save your grass by mowing it high. You want the grass to be at least three inches high, if not four inches. Never mow more than 1/3 of an inch off your grass at a time. This forces you to mow regularly, which will help add more nutrients and carbon to your soil. Plus, taller grass has less thirsty roots.
- Aerate Your Yard – A great way to promote good grass health, and to avoid having to use too much water, is to aerate your yard. You can do that with a few different types of tools. You can use a plug aerator or a spike aerator. How often you do this depends on your soil type, but usually once or twice a year is enough.
- Use Non-Synthetic Products - Whatever products you choose to use on yard, always choose natural, non-synthetic, non-fuel based and all-natural products that help the environment rather than mess it up and pollute it. If you don’t want it in your drinking water, don’t use it.
- Plant Native Trees and Shrubs - When you decide on landscaping, you want to try to avoid using lawn grass as much as possible. Consider planting native trees and shrubs to help the climate in your area and replace some of the grass.
- Leave Clippings - When you mow the lawn, if you ensure that you only mow a small amount off at a time you can just leave the clippings. They will add nutrients to the soil and help the grass become thicker.
- Rake Leaves Don’t Blow Them - When you have leaves in your yard, instead of blowing them take the time to rake them. Then you can collect them and use them in your compost pile. Plus, using a gas-powered blower is just as bad as using a gas-powered lawn mower.
- Avoid Overwatering – One problem with lawns is how much water they use. But, you can still have a healthy lawn without overwatering. In fact, there are some studies that show overwatering, while it may make grass greener, causes more nitrous oxide emissions. Instead of daily watering, add one inch of water each week during cooler times in the day.
- Use the Right Grass - The best yard covering is honestly anything that is native to your area. Find native coverings that use less water and require less care for the best results.
Using these methods will make your lawn a lot healthier and help cut down on the environmental effects of having a grass lawn. Another thing you can do is replace some of your grass with other plants strategically, to cut down on how much lawn you have but keep up the appearance of having a beautifully manicured lawn.