“Green” Tips for a Great Lawn:
This Saturday, March 30th at 8:30pm local time marks Earth Hour, the annual grass-roots event celebrated all over the world where millions of people will turn off their lights for an hour to raise awareness about the importance of the environment. Shutting off our lights for just an hour demonstrates that small actions can have large impacts.
Taking inspiration from this awesome event, and with spring finally upon us in Ontario, we wanted to share a few tips and tricks for keeping your little piece of the earth — your lawn — looking great without leaving a carbon footprint. After all, the journey to a cleaner earth starts in your own backyard, literally!
Here are some tips for all-natural lawncare:
Start with the soil
Check the quality by taking a handful and squeezing it. If it crumbles, add some nutrient-rich compost in spring and fall. If it’s sandy, add some hummus to help it hold water. Check the pH too. Most garden centres offer this service. If it’s less than 6 or 7, add some lime.
Use the right grass
Clover and fescue are good for dry summers, and bluegrass and ryegrass are ideal for areas that get lots of sun. For shady spots, try fescue or a groundcover like periwinkle or pachysandra.
Fertilize every spring and fall, and when you mow, leave clippings where they fall for added nitrogen, phosphate and potassium. Water deeply but infrequently to encourage deeper root growth. Set up the sprinkler and let it do the watering for you every four to seven days. A timed sprinkler system is a great way to save on water, as it does not allow for human error (such as forgetfulness) when watering. It also allows you to water your lawn at night in the summers, which is a great way to maximize your water use.
Just a little off the top, please
Weeds can’t grow in the shade of tall grass. Setting your mower blade to about 3′ is an easy way to keep your lawn dense and healthy. This is a form of natural lawncare and weed prevention without the use of pesticides.
Give it some air
To improve drainage and help oxygen get into the soil, aerate by walking around in golf shoes. A spiked roller or aerator works too.
Free the soil
Your lawn gets clogged by tangled dry grass, roots and dead leaves that get between the soil and the living grass. Cut through it every fall with an inexpensive dethatching rake so your lawn gets the nutrients it needs.
Think beyond the blade
Add some clover next time you seed, and you’ll get a thicker, more richly textured lawn. Plus, if you get a few larger-leafed weeds growing, they won’t be as noticeable.
If you have any tips for making your home greener, please feel free to contact us, and we’d be happy to share them on this blog, especially leading up to Earth Day.