The Benefits of Natural Lawn Care
Lawns do more than make your yard look good; they also absorb and hold water. This helps to reduce storm runoff and actually improves your water quality. What you may not know is that healthy lawns provide a significant cooling effect to the environment. Natural lawn care provides oxygen, promotes healthy micro-organisms, it also traps dirt, dust, and filters rainwater contaminants. If you provide natural lawn care to your yard, then you can actually be helping the environment.
Almost 60% of watering on the West Coast and 30% on the East coast goes to lawn care. What is more surprising is that the average lawn receives as much as 10 times as many pesticides than farmland. Where the pesticides are used, 60 to 90% of the earthworms, which are important for soil health, are killed. Our environment is being destroyed all because most people don’t use natural lawn care. This can all be avoided if we took what we know and apply it to natural lawn care.
Natural Lawn Care Basics
The only way we can reduce the use of pesticides and chemicals is to develop a healthy lawn using the basics of natural lawn care. The first step in doing this is to improve the soil that you have. You need to test your soils pH, making sure it reads between 6.5 and 7.0 which are slightly acidic but not so much that you will need lime or sulfur. Natural lawn care is best for soils that are a mix of clay, silt, and sand. Too much clay and it can prevent the vital nutrients and air flow. Natural lawn care also requires you to use a locally adapted grass. The grass that is best for your area is the grass that grows well in your climate. You can find out your local grass by visiting any natural lawn care professional or store. The amount of water and nutrients they need will be lessened if it is grass that is naturally grown, as opposed to being uprooted from a different climate.
Mowing often is important in natural lawn care. Surface roots can become exposed, and the soil dries out faster, causing more water and chemicals to be used. As a general rule don’t cut off more than 1/3 of your grass at any given time. Most grasses are more able to benefit the environment when they are between 2.5 and 3 inches high. Watering is important also but part of natural lawn care is to water deeply but not too often. Thorough watering encourages the root system to grow more deeply, which makes it more drought resistant and hardier. Let the lawn dry out thoroughly before re-watering. It should receive at least 1 inch of watering each time. The best time for watering following the natural lawn care plan is early morning, to help avoid any evaporation.
Lastly, to have a natural lawn care routine that you can be proud of, make sure you keep your thatch under control. On a healthy lawn the thatch should be about ½ inch, and kept in balance by earthworms, and natural decomposition. You can reduce any additional thatch by using a steel rake or renting a tool that does a more thorough job.
Natural lawn care doesn’t have to include chemicals and pesticides for you to have a healthy and green lawn. Just follow these basics and you too can have an environmentally friendly lawn.