People are afraid that if they switch to an environmentally friendly lawn care method, they will have difficulty having beautiful green grass because of grubs or unwanted weeds. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, if you have done the ground work, you will notice that an environmentally friendly lawn care system is superior to using insecticides/pesticides for many reasons.
First of all, you will notice that once the initial work is done, this innovative lawn care method is more economical than the old-fashion method of having to buy lawn fertilizers and spraying twice or more times during one summer with all kinds of chemicals.
Secondly, using ecological or natural lawn care methods supports the ecosystem in many ways.
1. Your grass keeps getting thicker and thicker which prevents soil erosion
2. Your soil becomes a rich source of worms and other microorganisms which help nourish the soil and keep it healthy. In turn, a healthy soil promotes growth.
3. A soil full of worms provides food for the birds which in turn help you get rid of unwanted insects
4. Grass which is not contaminated can filter contaminants from rainwater and many types of pollutants such as soot and dust from the air
5. And more importantly for us humans, healthy grass, like trees, can absorb the carbon dioxide from the air and give off oxygen back into the air. This exchange helps clean the air. Switching to an environmentally friendly lawn care system is one way to help diminish the effects of global warming.
In order to get good results when using an environmentally friendly lawn care system, you must think "preventative". In other words you must take steps to discourage weeds and insects from taking over your lawn.
If you follow these steps, you can work with nature and avoid using pesticides/herbicides but still have a beautiful lawn:
A. Mow high (up to 3 inches) and often so that you cut no more than a third of the blade length at a time.
B Use a mulching lawn mower and allow the mulched clippings to fall back onto the lawn where they can decompose into rich fertilizer which promotes a slow but steady growth year round. With nutrients being slowly but constantly released, the grass can produce good strong roots which are not as attractive to grubs.
C. If you must fertilize, avoid fertilizers which make the grass grow very quickly. Too much fertilizing or using fertilizers with a high nitrogen or using "green up" liquid fertilizers makes the grass grow fast -- too fast. It cannot develop good firm roots, so you end up with weak roots which grubs just love. Fertilizing once a year is more than enough.
D. As more and more of your clippings continue to fall back onto the lawn, it will accumulate between the grass blades. If you have half an inch or more of this thatch, you may need to dethatch. Otherwise, the water will not get through to the soil.
E. Water sparingly (once or twice a week) and deeply. Keep a small container on your lawn at all times to measure the amount of water your lawn gets when you water or when it rains. When watering, don't stop until there is at least 2 cm of water in the container. In addition make sure the water has penetrated the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches minimum.
F. If you need to level your lawn, top dress with topsoil for lawns mixed with compost to prepare it for overseeding
G. When overseeding, use grass varieties which suit the specific location (sunny spot? shady spot?)
H. When the soil becomes compacted, aerate and add soil amendments such as compost or sand to relieve compaction
I. Use an environmentally safe method to control white grub. Put nematodes back into your lawn. Nematodes seek out white grubs, citrus root weevils, the Japanese beetles, the May/June pupa of the beetles, the European/Masked chafer, the black vine weevil, and the sod webworm.
Taking care of the environment begins in our own back yard. We now know how insecticides and herbicides are having huge detrimental effects on both humans and the environment, so why not work with nature to create a healthier, greener environment for ourselves and our children -- the sooner the better. Switching to an environmentally friendly lawn care system is one of the many ways we can all help clean up and save our environment.
About the Author: A gardener for years, Marcie has learned through experience that working with the natural laws of nature is by far the best way to do any type of gardening -- even lawns can benefit from it. Get more indepth details re steps to an environmentally friendly lawn care system .