Do you find yourself with an overgrown out-of-control outdoor space and wonder where to begin? Or, maybe you’re ready to get going on that earth-friendly lawn but don’t know where to start?
It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed. But we have you covered:
Here are some tips to help you get started on creating an eco-friendly yard you and your family can enjoy.
Overgrown with Overgrowth
If you have a lot of overgrowth, tackle it first.
If you expect a lot of plant waste, begin by researching and pricing service providers to take care of the cuttings through pickup or dumpster rentals.
Look for a service provider who works with local recycling centers and is committed to green waste disposal. Most providers offer a variety of dumpster sizes and offer professional advice about which size will accommodate your needs.
Once your disposal needs are taken care of, get to work clearing out the clutter. If it’s spring, unwrap trees, remove dead annuals and prune winter-killed branches as well. Plant material can go into the dumpster with the rest of the cuttings.
Green Up Your Lawn
Overwatering and harsh chemicals are all too common in the pursuit of a lush lawn. Beautiful green grass doesn’t have to come with a high environmental impact, however. In fact, it shouldn’t. A healthy lawn naturally resists disease, weeds and insects.
Here are the steps you need to take to develop a beautiful, eco-friendly lawn:
- Have your soil’s pH tested by a certified tester or purchase a pH tester kit. The pH will tell you what kind of soil you currently have. The best pH reading for grass is between 6.5 and 7.0.
- Improve your soil. Grass grows best in loamy soils mixed with silt, sand and clay. If your soil is, according to the pH test result, not acidic enough, add a bit of sulfur. If it’s too acidic, lime will do the trick.
- Compost and grass clippings enrich soil no matter what type you have. Organic additives lighten heavy soils and improve sandy soils by encouraging the growth of hummus.
- Choose grass that is locally acclimatized.
There are many different grass types, but you need to use one adapted to your area. Different temperature, water and requirements as well as sun exposure affect the type of grass you can grow successfully in your climate. Ask local garden center experts for advice.
- Mow with care. It’s tempting to cut your grass short, particularly in the fastest-growing season. But if you mow too short, soil dries out and roots become exposed. Your best bet is to only mow one-third of the grass height at a time. Grass heights between 2.5″ and 3.5″ are optimum for most areas.
- Water, let dry. Thorough watering develops deep root systems in the lawn, makes it stronger and more drought-resistant. The best time for watering is early morning because less moisture evaporates then than later in the day. The general rule of thumb is water 1″ per week. Let grass dry out completely before watering again.
Relax and Enjoy
A natural lawn is a chemical-free and safe environment where you, your children and pets can enjoy outdoor living without fear. It may take a little work to get your soil and lawn in healthy shape, but it’s worth it.
What are your favorite tips for making your yard earth-friendly?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.