Maintaining a perfectly manicured lawn can require excessive amounts of energy and chemicals. No one wants an overgrown lawn, but there are ways to cut back on the energy use and still have a beautiful and well maintained look. Here are a few tips to keep your lawn looking great while cutting back on the environmental effects.
Skip the Chemicals
Weed killers may seem like a quick fix to the pesky weed problem brewing in your lawn; however, please think twice before applying this harsh chemicals to your lawn. Weed killers come in a variety of forms but most contain some very nasty chemicals. If you have small children, the bottle and warning should be enough to make you steer clear. Most killers require hours of drying time before kids can even touch the lawn. Even after the product has dried it is still transferable to clothing and shoes and can make its way into your home. So trying a natural alternative can be the best bet for those wanting to cut back on their chemical exposure.
The most environmentally friendly (and child friendly) weed killer is very simple to make:
- Pickling Vinegar
- Spray Bottle
- Dish Soap
Take a spray bottle that is roughly 32-34 ounces in size and add ½ cup of salt, a squirt of your favorite dish soap, and then fill to the top with the vinegar. Close your bottle and shake vigorously. All the ingredients will combine to form an instant weed killer.
Push Reel Mowers
If you have a smaller yard and can push mow, consider purchasing a push reel mower. They work off the manual power you provide, so no gas required. The only energy consumed is your own and it is a perfect workout.
Compost Those Clippings
Allowing your clippings to lay on your lawn and compost is the easiest way to let Mother Nature do her work; however, if you don’t like the appearance of clippings on your lawn you can attach a clippings catcher bag to the back of your mower. Another option is to simply rake up the clippings once you have finished mowing. These clippings can be added to your compost pile and can later be used as a natural fertilizer for your garden. However, grass clippings are high in nitrogen so need to be balanced with other “brown” items. This can include wood chips, newspapers, cardboard, or twigs. Having a ratio of 2 to 1 is a perfect balance (2 clippings, 1 browns).
Having a beautiful lawn does not have to come at the expense of Mother Nature. What tips do you have for keeping your lawn pristine and green?