by Cats 99
Going green is a big deal lately whether it’s cleaning products, sources of energy, or vehicle choice. It may be time to wean your grass off of its chemical dependencies and work towards a healthier, safer, greener yard.
Tip number one is to mow high. Mowing the grass too short weakens the plant.
It can harm the crown of the plant where growth takes place and creates a vector for weeds to infiltrate.
Mow as high as possible to store moisture and carbohydrate reserves so it is better able to survive periods of drought, disease conditions, and other stresses.
Keeping a longer grass of about 3-4 inches allows for maximum photosynthesis and will encourage the grass to overcrowd weeds.
On the path to green living why not mow the grass in an environmentally friendly fashion? Lawn mowers are among the greatest contributors of CO2 to the atmosphere and lately their pollutants are being included in the carbon footprint of yard care.
There are more options than ever when it comes to zero emission lawn mowers. Practice Integrated Pest Management by using appropriate controls – only if necessary – with chemical pesticides being a last resort or use organic weed controls.
The largest segment (and potentially most harmful) of plant chemicals are herbicides. Organic weed control techniques will end the input of dangerous chemicals into the environment and deliver results comparable to conventional weed control methods.
The backbone to responsible yard care is integrated pest management or IPM. It’s not as complicated as it sounds and it really is a smarter way to manage pests rather than using pesticides at the first sign of a problem.
There is no magic bullet though and organic weed control is a more holistic approach to weed problems rather than just spraying them with herbicides.
Avoid conditions that attract weeds and pests, and monitor for their presence so an outbreak isn’t a surprise.
Most people will see this next tip and discard it, but if you water every day, water less. Yards should be watered deeply and infrequently to promote deep rooting.
Grass quickly gets used to over-watering. Its roots stop growing deeper in search of water instead they stay close to the surface where the water is.
A yard without a strong, extensive root system is susceptible to weed infestations and will be slow or not able to recover from other stresses like drought.
Even if your area of the country is not in a drought, these maintenance techniques will offer a greener alternative to conventional yard care.
Training your yard to thrive in a drought also encourages the optimum health of the grass plant. Ideally grass will be on the thirsty side always growing its roots deeper in search of water.
Deep rooted turf is more resilient and able to withstand stress. If you have the means, consider using compost too.
Even if you are not on an organic yard care program, try topdressing with compost as often as possible. Adding compost will build and enrich your soil and over time create the conditions needed to feed the grass naturally.
A healthy soil can naturally create the nutrients that grow grass, making conventional fertilizing obsolete.
Rich soil is the key to growing a healthy lawn and composting is the best way to get there.
Plants are weaker during certain stages of growth or different times of the season. Don’t antagonize a stressed lawn with aerating, excessive mowing, heavy traffic, or other cultural practices.
When lawns get stressed they are susceptible to weeds, diseases, and other pest out breaks. A dry, burned out lawn will come back with adequate rainfall.
A “green” yard doesn’t have to be a lot of work; in fact it can be easier to maintain a decent looking low maintenance yard than a conventional yard.
The results can range from the slightly weed infested look of a Freedom Lawn to a well kept, smartly maintained low maintenance yard.
Tom Selwick has worked the past 22 years in the lawn care industry. He suggests usingLawn Service norcross for a quality lawn.
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