Lush lawns are not only pleasant to the eyes, but they are also great for preventing storm runoff and erosion. They also improve water quality and help reduce air pollution. However, doing lawn maintenance often comes with expensive costs. Some statistics claim that Americans spend about 30 billion dollars annually on lawn maintenance while consuming at least 70 million tons of pesticides and fertilizer.
As a result, more and more people are looking into sustainable methods of lawn maintenance. Here are some of them:
Do a Soil Test
If you want to save money in lawn care, doing a soil test is a must. With it, you will know what your lawn requires. Simple tests can show whether your soil has any deficiencies or whether adding iron, nitrogen, and other nutrients are necessary to improve your lawn’s health. This way, you never have to spend on things that your yard does not need.
Patronize Local Products
If you are going to choose a grass to use for your lawn, it is always best to go local. These grasses thrive better, thereby requiring less maintenance. You can check with your local garden center to know what types of grass you can use for your lawn, depending on your soil test and your location.
Do Lawn Mower Maintenance
Doing lawn mower maintenance is crucial to maintaining a sustainable lawn maintenance routine. Regularly sharpening your mower blades will make your cuts more efficient. This way, you take less time cutting your grass, which reduces your gas and energy consumption and your carbon footprint. You can check your lawn mower blades before you use them. When you notice that the cuts are ragged and have brown edges, it may mean that you need to sharpen them.
Avoid Cutting Too Short
Cutting your grass too short can affect the overall health of your lawn. Cutting too low may cause you to expose the surface roots of your lawn, lowering aeration of the surface, and soil drying. Most experts advise cutting less than a third of your grass. Often, mowing too short causes more expenses to restore the optimal lawn condition.
Start Watering and Fertilizing Wisely
Whether you admit it or not, you are guilty of overwatering your lawn. Do you know that that practice is worse than underwatering? You should start watering wisely. Never water when the sunlight is too intense as it can shock your grass. Watering early in the day can also cause most of the water to evaporate. It is best to water in the afternoon; about one inch of water weekly.
The same is true for fertilizers. If you feed your grass too much or at the wrong time, it can damage your lawn or be ineffective, turning it into a massive waste of resources.
Use Pesticides Sparingly
In general, lawns must not rely heavily on chemical fertilizers to reach their optimal health. However, there are many instances where homeowners resort to these fertilizers since they are more accessible and are often cheaper compared with organic ones. It is tempting to use these fertilizers when you think that it is not possible to achieve a lawn free from weeds and diseases. Still, it is best to use them sparingly. And if you are opting to use pesticides to control weeds, use the ones that are low impact.
Doing sustainable lawn maintenance should be the goal for every homeowner, not only for the financial savings but also for the welfare of the environment.