Five Tips For A More Environmentally Friendly Lawn

You may enjoy the look of the lawn or appreciate the space for playing and entertaining, but often a lawn is a drain on the environment -- a monoculture that does little good for the nearby ecosystem. The good news is you can enjoy a beautiful lawn while still being eco-friendly with the help of the following tips.

1. Shrink the Lawn Area

A smaller lawn requires less water, fertilizer, and mowing, which means this could be the best option for the environment. You can shrink the lawn by increase garden bed space or by planting a few trees, complete with mulched areas around their base.

2. Switch to Native Plants

Native plants are more likely to thrive with minimal need for fertilizer or water. They will also be more resistant to local pests, so you won't need to use as many pesticides to maintain them. Most areas have at least one native plant nursery where you can select trees, shrubs, flowers, and groundcovers that grow well in your location. Some areas even have native grasses that can be used for a lawn, or you can grow a native clover lawn as opposed to a grass lawn.

3. Water Wisely

A major issue in many home lawns is irrigation. Watering too frequently and too shallowly can result in a green lawn, but it is a weak lawn that can't withstand natural periods of drought. The reason for this is that frequent shallow watering results in shallow rooting. Reduce your watering to only two or three times a week, but provide at least an inch of water at each irrigation. The grass roots will grow deeper into the soil, which means the lawn will become more resistant to dry weather.

4. Lower Chemical Inputs

Over-fertilizing a lawn can result in chemicals leeching into the groundwater and soil, which in turn can affect local waterways or harm wildlife like insects and fish. Phosphate and nitrogen overloads from lawn fertilization are common environmental concerns. You can work with a lawn care company to develop a fertilizer plan that matches your lawn's actual needs, which will reduce excess fertilizer run-off. There are also more environmentally safe fertilizer brands that you can use on your lawn.

5. Reuse Your Clippings

There's no need to have the grass clippings hauled off to the dump. You can lower fertilizer needs and grow a healthier lawn by reusing the clippings as mulch. Your lawn maintenance service will use a mulching mower that chops the clippings finely so they don't sit on top of the lawn. You can also start a compost pile and recycle your clippings that way.

Contact a lawn maintenance service like Quality Lawncare & Landscaping for more help with implementing an eco-friendly lawn care regimen.