Healthy Lawn, Healthy Environment

Caring for your Lawn in an Environmentally Friendly Way

Picture a healthy green lawn: perfect for lounging, great for ball games and cookouts, a real asset to your home. But did you know that your lawn–and how you take care of it–can also help the environment?  Healthy grass provides feeding ground for birds, who find it a rich source of insects, worms, and other food. Thick grass prevents soil erosion, filters contaminants from rainwater, and absorbs many types of airborne pollutants, like dust and soot. Grass is also highly efficient at converting carbon dioxide to oxygen, a process that helps clean the air. Caring for your lawn properly can both enhance its appearance and contribute to its environmental benefits. You don’t have to be an expert to grow a healthy lawn. Just keep in mind that the secret is to work with nature. This means creating conditions for grass to thrive and resist damage from weeds, disease, and insect pests. It means setting realistic goals for your lawn, whether you or a professional lawn care service will be doing the work. And if you choose to use pesticides, it means using them with care so as to get the most benefit and reduce any risks. Caring for your lawn in an environmentally sensible way can have a bigger impact than you might think. Your lawn is only a small piece of land, but all the lawns across the country cover a lot of ground. That means you and your lawn care activities, along with everyone else’s, can make a difference to the environment. And that’s why taking care of the environment begins in our own backyards.

Working With Nature: A Preventive Health Care Program For Your Lawn

To start, think about lawn care as a preventive health care program, like one you would use to keep up your own health. The idea is to prevent problems from occurring so you don’t have to treat them. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A healthy lawn can out-compete most weeds, survive most insect attacks, and fend off most diseases–before these problems ever get the upper hand.

Your lawn care program should be tailored to local conditions–the amount of rainfall you get, for example, and the type of soil you have. The sources listed at the back of this brochure can help you design a lawn care program that suits both local conditions and your own particular needs. But no matter where you live, you can use the program outlined in this brochure as a general guide to growing a healthy lawn.

A preventive health care program for your lawn should have the following steps:

1. Develop healthy soil

2. Choose a grass type that thrives in your climate

3. Mow high, often, and with sharp blades

4. Water deeply but not too often

5. Correct thatch build-up

6. Set realistic goals

Mow High, Often and With Sharp Blades

Mowing high–that is, keeping your lawn a bit long–will produce stronger, healthier grass with fewer pest problems.

Longer grass has more leaf surface to take in sunlight. This enables it to grow thicker and develop a deeper root system, which in turn helps the grass survive drought, tolerate insect damage, and fend off diseases. Longer grass also shades the soil surface keeping it cooler, helping it retain moisture, and making it difficult for weeds to germinate and grow. (more…)

Trees for Autumn Color

The Autumn Blaze Maple

The Autumn Blaze Maple is one of the most popular new tree introductions in history. Brilliant fall color without the mess and maintenance! You plant it and forget it. Municipalities love these trees because they are very disease-resistant, even for maples. They’re not bothered by car exhaust and they don’t drop seed pods. (more…)