Friday, February 20, 2009

Earth Friendly Tips: Get your landscape off chemicals

Many homeowners wish to have lush green lawns all year long even in the heat of the summer. We use high concentrate chemicals packed with nitrogen to make grass green and grow at a fast rate. The more chemicals that are used, the more the nutrients from the soil are depleted. The high salt amounts draw moisture out of the soil and grass and causes the grass to burn. We think by adding more fertilizer to the grass that we will correct the issue. There are better ways to correct these problems and the following will give you a step by step program to revitalize your grass.

First, take a soil test. The soil test will give you the ph level of the soil and tell you what nutrients and too high or too low. This will give you a good guide so that you know where to begin with the revitalization. You can then add the correct nutrients and minerals to the soil to correct the issues. Make sure that you are adding organic matter to your soil. Another way to revitalize your soil, take up some of the grass and add native plantings. Plant shrubbery and trees that attract birds and bees that will pollinate plants and control insects. Try to avoid exotic plantings that will crowd out native plantings and destroy current ecosystems.

You will use less fertilizers and your lawn will be healthier if you mow less often. Let the grass grow between 2.5 to 3.5 inches before mowing. Also, the grass clippings are good for the soil. The grass that is being cut away is full of nutrients and once the clippings fall back down to the soil level, it will decompose adding that nutrients back to the soil.

When it comes to weed control, use natural products such as vinegar and water. Try to avoid using chemical products such as Round Up to remove the weeds. Some areas may be better to remove the weeds by hand versus a spray. Also, if you are going to use a weed barrier, find something that will be biodegradable instead of vinyl or plastic which will only cause problems in the future.

Invite nature into your landscape. Install a birdbath or birdhouse. Bats are very good to have around because they eat insects. Installing a bat house will attract them to your landscape area. Bats will help keep insects in control instead of using insecticides which are not healthy for the environment. Also, don’t waste precious natural resources. Compost leaves and fruit and vegetable peelings. These natural resources will break down over time, creating a very nutrient rich compost soil that can be added to planting beds. Capture water off gutters in a rain barrel and use the water to irrigate plantings. Creating nutrient rich soil will also reduce the amount of water that is needed on turf and landscaping because the soil will retain more water instead of the salt content in fertilizers which draw water out and dry the soil.

If you would like to learn more about green living, you may think about joining The Green Life. Check out our website,, to read more about The Green Life, our E-newsletter, meetings, and much more.

(c) 2009 Metro GreenScape

1 comment:

  1. Why not go organic, This is the way of the future and will set us apart from the rest of the world.