If you’re ready to do away with pesticides and chemical fertilizers but don’t want to give up your neat green lawn, there are plenty of eco-friendly options available — providing you know what you’re looking for. An eco-friendly lawn is better for your family, your pets, and the environment, so there’s really no reason not to give it a try. Here’s where to start:
Plant different grass
There are plenty of environmentally friendly alternatives to regular grass seed. If your lawn’s looking bare and patchy, this is the perfect opportunity to start bringing in a new grass that’s less thirsty and less reliant on chemicals.
- Buffalo Grass. Native to North America, Buffalo grass is great if you live somewhere hot and dry, but not so suitable for wetter climates. It’s virtually drought resistant and only needs watering once a month.
- Seashore pasapalum is ideal for warm climates, and doesn’t even need fertilizing.
- Eco-lawn can be grown virtually anywhere in the United States, and grows as well in the shade as it does in the sun. It needs less fertilizer than traditional grass and doesn’t require watering as regularly.
Chemical pesticides are dangerous to more than just insects — they have a negative impact on the entire ecosystem. The alternative? Bio-pesticides. These keep the yard free of pests without causing damage to other wildlife. Although bio-pesticides are chemicals, they’re made from natural elements, and work to control the insect population rather than wiping it out entirely. There are many varieties, but most fall into one of three categories:
- Pheromone pesticides. These inhibit reproduction by disrupting the mating patterns of certain insects. Pheromone-based pesticides only affect the insects they target, so no other animals are harmed.
- Microbial pesticides.These use microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and fungi to kill insects and weeds. Most target specific plants or insects, so the rest of your wildlife is unaffected.
- Plant-incorporated protectants (PIPs). Genetic material is added to the plant, allowing it to produce its own pesticide.
Get a new mower
If you have a smallish lawn (or a lot of time!) you can cut back on petrol usage by buying a push mower. Not only is this better for the environment, but it’s better for your cardiovascular health — mowing the lawn is great aerobic exercise. Push mowers are much cheaper to run, and much cheaper to buy.
Although more expensive, a recycling or mulching mower is kinderto the environment, and is likely to last you longer than a traditional mower. Recycling mowers turn lawn clippings into fine mulch, so you can naturally fertilize your lawn as you mow. If you don’t have much time for mowing the lawn, or have too much grass to cut with a push mower, this is a really viable option.
Have any tips for eco-friendly lawn care you’d like to share? Leave us a comment to let us know!