Green Tips for Green, Green Grass
Posted by Valerie McTavish on Apr 20, 2012 | Green Living
It may be au courant to xeriscape a yard or let a lawn go brown, but there are some people for whom a backyard full of green grass is essential. A perfect lawn doesn’t have to come at the expense of the planet. From watering to maintenance to weed control, there are ways to have the lawn of your dreams without it being a nightmare to the environment.
You can’t have an eco-friendly lawn without considering the water required to keep it green. When there are no water restrictions in place, be selective about when and how you water. The best time to give your lawn a drink is in the early morning. Sprinkler systems on a timer will keep you from having to rise early, but don’t just set it and forget it. Override it on rainy days or whenever the grass doesn’t need it. Rain sensors are also available to keep your system from doubling up on nature’s efforts.
You want your grass to develop long roots, so water slowly, deeply and less frequently. Using a low flow sprinkler limits water wastage and increases absorption. If you’ve got small patches, tricky to reach areas or spots that need a little extra attention, try sprinkling by hand using grey water or water collected in a rain barrel.
While it may look nice to have a closely shaved lawn that resembles a putting green, cutting grass short encourages growth. Set your mower blade a little higher and you’ll not only cut it less, it’ll be healthier and too shady for those sun-loving weeds.
Weeds are the bane of many a lawn-lover but eliminating them can take years. So, if you can’t accept clover as a green grass alternative or dandelion leaves as a zesty addition to your organic salad, here are a few green tips for conquering the invaders.
Tackle them head on with a proper weed puller that takes the root too. For the best results, do it right after a rain or watering. If there are too many to pull, just give them an organic, weed-killing cocktail containing a teaspoon of Castile soap (or basic dishwashing soap) and a cup of vinegar. Spray or dripthe concoction onto the weed but be careful because it will also damage grass and other plants.
Another eco-friendly anti-weed strategy is to choke them out with full, thick grass. To achieve grass domination in your yard, aerate and re-seed every year. Be sure to select a seed that is native to your area so that it will thrive naturally and be sustainable.
You can also sprinkle the grass with a combination of corn gluten meal and Epsom salt. The corn will serve as a natural alternative to “Weed and Feed,” providing nutrients to the grass while getting rid of the weeds. The Epsom salt helps aerate the lawn and adds magnesium to the soil turning your grass greener.
When it comes to taking care of those pesky pests, send them packing with home-made organic pesticide. In a spray bottle, combine a cup of vegetable oil with a tablespoon of Castile soap, top it up with warm water and spritz those bugs away. After all, what’s the point of having a beautiful lawn if you can’t roll around on it? It’ll be a pesticide-free paradise.
And, by implementing these simple green tips the grass will always be greener on your side.