Practicing more eco-friendly landscaping and lawn maintenance is a wonderful way to show the environment some love and possibly, keep more “green” in your pocket! And it’s not as tough as you may think…
Turf Medic has identified four areas of lawn care where a few simple changes can have a positive impact. Read on to learn how to earn a big green thumbs up for the environment and your yard!
1. Reduce Water Usage
It’s no secret: Your lawn, flowers, and plants need water to thrive, especially with the hot and sunny days we experience in coastal NC! It may seem counterintuitive, but there are ways to save water while also keeping your landscaping lush and vibrant.
When watering your lawn, keep these two Turf Medic tips in mind:
- Whenever possible, irrigate in the morning when temperatures are at their lowest and the water has time to soak in before evaporating.
- Make sure your sprinklers are directing water where it’s needed — your lawn and flower beds – and not to the sidewalk or driveway.
Want to do even more to lower your water usage? Try collecting rainwater in barrels and using this supply to hydrate your yard!
2. Pick Appropriate Plants
The types of flora you include in your landscaping can affect your ecological footprint as well. Before planting, take time to map out the conditions throughout your yard and choose plants accordingly. Picking plants that are suited for the setting, like full sun or total shade, will allow them to grow without the help of excess irrigation, fertilizer, or pesticides.
Along these same lines, Turf Medic also suggests choosing native species. These plants are designed to survive the conditions typical of the area, which means they’ll need less water and chemical supplements to thrive. They also provide shelter for area wildlife, improve air quality, stabilize soil, and reduce pollution because they require less mowing and maintenance.
There are tons of native plants to choose from, but a few varieties popular to the North Carolina coast include black eyed Susan, butterfly weed, coral honeysuckle vine, and dwarf palmetto shrubs.
Focus On Fertilization
Of course, we all want a lavish, colorful, and sprawling landscape, and fertilization certainly helps. If you’re concerned about how these chemicals affect the environment, however, below are a few ways in which you can practice more environmentally friendly fertilization.
Composting is a great way to repurpose discarded food, paper, and organic matter into fertilizer for your flower beds and gardens. To get started without making a big commitment, simply toss some starter soil in a large bucket and begin adding organic waste, like raw fruits and vegetables, newspaper, and eggshells into the mix. You can even add grass clippings and fallen leaves instead of bagging them to be discarded in the landfill.
There’s nothing wrong with fertilizing your lawn and garden to keep it looking its best, but if you’re aiming to lessen your ecological footprint, it’s important to do it the right way. Start with these Turf Medic tips:
- Test your soil. This will let you know what additives your soil needs and prevent you from using excess fertilizer that can run off into areas where it doesn’t belong, like streams and rivers.
- Fertilize at the right time. Research the requirements for your specific type of grass and flowers and follow a fertilization schedule that meets their needs. For example, cool season grasses should be fertilized in the fall while the best time to fertilize warm season grasses is early spring.
You can also decrease your footprint by opting for an organic fertilizer over non-organic. Not all organic products are made the same, however, so do a little research before choosing. In general, though, organic fertilizers break down more quickly, preventing superfluous runoff, and are less harmful to the environment and area wildlife.
4. Manage Maintenance
There are also a few measures you can take to care for your lawn in a way that helps protect the environment. For example, switch to electric tools instead of those that require the use of gas or oil. Electric equipment produces fewer carbon dioxide emissions than its gas-powered counterparts.
It’s also important to research the appropriate height for the type of grass in your yard and mow accordingly. Be sure to set your mower blades to the recommended length and follow the rule of thirds — never cut more than 1/3 the length of your grass off at one time.
Looking for assistance in improving the eco-friendliness of your yard? Give Turf Medic a call! Our team can help you design a beautiful landscape that is also easy on the environment. From helping you plan a layout that makes sense and choose the best plants for your area, to tips on how to maintain your lawn with a focus on being “green,” we’re happy to assist!