Day 5 is a tough one for me to write. I practice the following lawn care: mow, let girls pick dandelions and eat them, pick up any trash that may float our way, and mow some more. If you are looking for a die hard lush green lawn, then this girl does not know much about that, BUT, I did look into it, so here it goes. For Day 5 of the Small Changes, BIG Impact Challenge you need to simply read the information here, do some thinking, and then decide if you want to do further research on your own. Your lawn, in my opinion, should be a place where you can sit down and play with the kids or crack a cold one at the end of the day. It should not be something that you worry about walking barefoot on. (She steps off of her soapbox and onto her lawn managed by her chickens.)
- Saves time and energy
- Grass clippings provide up to 25% of the fertilizer your lawn needs
- Lawn clippings can be used for erosion control in flower beds
- Use rainwater
- We were able to buy a very basic rain barrel for $45 from an Annual Rain Barrel and Compost Drum event that Dane County puts on in early May each year
- “The best way to water your lawn is to sit under your covered porch having a glass of wine during a rainstorm.” Right on!
Use Eco-friendly Lawn Equipment
- Helps reduce pollution
- Electric lawnmower are not as portable as the battery operated option, but tend to work better
- Mowers don’t adhere to the same EPA standards as gas cars, so you are likely to be sucking in some pretty toxic emissions while mowing.
- According to Briggs and Stratton, an annual lawn mower tune up can significantly cut emissions and save fuel. EPA says that Americans spill an average of 17 million gallons of gasoline each year just filling their mowers.
No mow lawn without looking like a foreclosure
- Hardscape your lawn by building a desert or rock scene, which requires no maintenance and no erosion issues
- Turn your lawn into a garden and grow your own food. Hey, the neighbors can’t complain when they are picking fresh produce instead of running to the market!
Green it up
- Test your soil pH yearly. It will help you identify deficiencies and help you formulate a plan for potential problems.
- Clean debris and aerate your lawn to provide a fresh start for your new lawn to grow
- Mow regularly and never cut more than 1/3 of the leaf blade at a time. This should help crowd out weeds and help you save time, and gas money by going longer between mowings.
- Leaves from sugar maple or red maple trees, mulched in the Fall (I know that doesn’t help you now, but you can plan for next year) and spread over grass for 2-3 years have shown to prevent weeds from germinating.
- Listen to your weeds! Weeds will grow back unless you change your soil conditions. For example, if you have excess Plantain, you likely have heavily compacted soil. If you have dandelions, it is likely that your soil needs more calcium and magnesium.
Serious Lawn Folks
- Use an organic herbicide made from corn gluten
- Look for and use organic fertilizers made from biodegradable materials and apply in late Spring for the best results
- EcoSmart is a brand you can check out. They use food grade materials in their pesticides.
Get Rid of Old Synthetic Products Safely
- Earth911.com has some great tips for you
Happy lawn care!