As spring approaches and the weather warms, I’m seeing more and more people in their lawns. Lawn care is a hot topic in the eco-friendly community. When is it too early to mow? Are pesticides killing bees? Are lawns harmful to the environment? Should they be replaced with native plants? As I get ready for the warm weather, I’d like to have the greenest lawn possible (and I’m not talking about the grass). Here are some eco-friendly practices for lawn care:
Replace Lawns with Plants
Grass covered lawns may look nice, but they lack biodiversity and provide nothing for our very important pollinators like bees and butterflies. Native plants encourage biodiversity while preventing soil erosion. You can look up which plants are native to your area. There are many beautiful options.
Pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides may be useful for ridding one’s lawn of pests and weeds, but the harmful chemicals wreak havoc on the environment. There are plenty of Earth-friendly options for maintaining gardens and landscaping.
Leave the Leaves
In the fall, it’s fun to rake and burn big piles of leaves, but this is not only an unnecessary chore, it’s not conducive to the environment. Grass clippings and leaves return nutrients to the soil and provide protection for important insects.
Taller grass is stronger grass. Mow less frequently and wait several weeks before doing the first mow of the season in the spring. Many critters are still hibernating. Planting more native plants and reducing lawn size also helps reduce the need to mow.
Water is precious. Using it to make grass lawns greener is unwise and unnecessary. Grasses are resilient to dry spells, so only water when necessary. You can also use a rain barrel to save rain for the dry spells.
I hope you get to spend lots of time outside!