Summer is fast approaching, which means it is coming to that time when homeowners prepare to hit their front or backyards looking to grow their own produce, or simply to maintain their own lawn.
However, lawn care can be quite ugly. Beyond Pesticides (Click for a copy of their factsheet) reports that Americans use over 90 million pounds of pesticides just to maintain their lawns and gardens. This is an alarming figure, especially considering that out of the 30 chemicals used as lawn pesticides, 13 are possible carcinogens, 13 can cause birth defects, 21 can affect reproductive health, 26 cause liver or kidney damage, 27 are irritants, 15 have neurotoxicity, and 11 have hormonal effects. This does not even factor in the impact of these pesticides on wildlife, pets, and on the environment. Also, the application of pesticides can kill earthworms, which are responsible for soil aeration.
The good news for homeowners is that they do not have to necessarily give up caring for their lawns altogether. After all, they also bring a lot of benefits, including helping reduce carbon dioxide levels and dust in the air. What can be done instead is to switch to an organic method of growing and maintaining their lawn. Therefore, this post will provide tips on how you can switch from a chemically maintained yard to one that is healthier and more environmentally friendly.
1. Use natural compost:
As you know, plants only grow if the soil is healthy. As such, it is possible to restore the quality of the land by applying compost on it. You can actually apply this even during spring and fall, so that the lawn is ready for planting when summer comes around. Applying compost is fairly easy. Simply throw some on your yard and use your rake to spread it around. Watering the land afterwards will help in making the nutrients seep into the soil.
If you are worried about the cost, take samples of your soil and get it tested to see which nutrients it needs. Organic materials can also be used to address these needs. For example, applying blood meal or cottonseed meal can help address low nitrogen levels, according to Planet Natural.
2. Grow the right kind of grass:
3. Switch to a manual lawn mower:
In terms of practicality for standard backyard lawns, it is evident through the array of lawnmowers listed on industry experts Screwfix that hand push mowers are by far the easiest options to help homeowners navigate around a lawn due to them being lightweight and cordless as opposed to some of the more heavy duty lawn mowers on the market. It is also worth noting that some of the options available come with grass collection bags and mulchers; great options for homeowners who also grow their own produce, because they can use what they mow as fertilizer.
Try to keep your grass at around 3–3 ½ inches long. Trimming it too low can lead to weeds taking over your lawn. On the other hand, allowing it to grow any higher can lead to disease. The rule of thumb among is to trim grass no more than a 1/3 of its original length.