Green Yard Renovation Green Your Lawn
Greening your lawn is a simple task because in essence a greener lawn is a natural lawn and oddly enough keeping it natural also keeps it easy.
Before you start renovating your lawn: It's smart to check with a local natural gardening specialist. Some regions have very specific issues related to organic yard care and gardening. For instance, in New Mexico lawn care involves massive water conservation, but in Northern California the ocean and fog keeps it soggy so lawn care tasks often relate to keeping plants from getting too soggy.
To locate local resources visit the National Gardening Association and check out their Regional Gardening Reports & Blogs. Another good way to find local organic gardening resources is to visit a local nursery or local home and garden shows – most cities have annual garden shows and local cooperative growing teams are always there.
Tips for greening your lawn without the use of pesticides or other harmful chemicals
Sun is good: A shady lawn will naturally grow moss, not grass. If a yard has too much shade, consider a different landscaping approach, such as shade loving flowers. Grass will grow in shady areas but not as easily or naturally.
Grasscycle: Mow your grass 2 – 2 1/2 high and let the clipping stay after mowing. This is almost like adding compost to the yard but work-free. Grass clippings improve the soil with nutrients and organic matter.
Water sparingly: Lawns only need about an inch of water per week. In very rainy areas a lawn may not need extra watering at all. One of the most eco-friendly ways to water a lawn is with collected rainwater from a rainbarrel.
Aerate: Once annually use a core aerator, overseed with grass seed, and top dress with a small layer (1/2 inch) of fine compost.
Pull, don’t kill weeds: Pulling weeds is good exercise and less toxic than killing weeds with a weed killer. Overseed bare spots on the lawn caused by weeds. Safer alternatives to pulling weeds include USDA Certified Organic weed killer or making a homemade non-toxic weed killer mixture.
Mow smarter: Push mowers like weed pulling is great exercise and push mowers keep the air clean. Visit Clean Air Gardening for reel mowers. Electric mowers are another option and although not as eco-friendly as push mowers they are better than gas powered mowers.
Reduce the lawn: Instead of all grass plan for a nice deck, some beautiful low water flowers or yummy organic veggies. Reducing the size of the lawn will reduce water consumption and the workload. Also consider that trees and shrubs both grow better when the soil covering their roots is grass-free. Try a mulch around trees and shrubs instead of grass so that grass and trees aren’t fighting over nutrients.
Forget the yard: How important is a lawn really? Would regional wildflower seeds tossed everywhere be just as nice? How about a vegetable garden or a rock garden? Consider why having a lawn is so important in the first place. If the reasons feel unnecessary consider ditching the lawn all-together.
Relax: Chill out about the lawn. Some of the most beautiful places on earth are wild, untamed and imperfect. Lawns don't have to be the perfect shade of green or the right height to be useful. Weeds won’t kill anything – but harmful pesticides might. Cookie cutter yards are unnecessary.