Follow these environmentally responsible tips for a healthy lawn or use a lawn service that offers healthy lawn care options.
- Select earth-friendly fertilizers. These include products where 50% or more of the nitrogen is in slow-release form, and they are labeled as low or no phosphorus and pesticide-free.
- Sweep up fertilizer from paved surfaces and put it back into the lawn. Fertilizer left on sidewalks can easily wash into storm drains, rivers, and lakes.
- Leave a "no fertilizer" 10 foot to 25 foot buffer zone near lakes and rivers. Instead of turf grass, plant native grasses, tall wildflowers or shrubs to trap pollutants and discourage Canadian geese.
- Do not fertilize before early May and never fertilize if the ground is still frozen. Fertilize in the fall for a green lawn in the spring.
- If you have an automatic sprinkler system, set the timer to come on only at night between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a. m. This helps ensure proper water pressure and helps to keep the water rates down.
- Do not water every day. If your address is an even number, sprinkle on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If your address is an odd number, sprinkle on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. If necessary add an extra sprinkling day on Sunday.
- When you mow, set the blade height to 3 inches or more. This promotes deeper roots and shades out the weeds.
- Mulch the grass clippings. Clippings are a source of nitrogen, so those expensive fertilizers can be reduced by 25% or more.
- Mow dry leaves right into the lawn. Healthy soil consists of at least 5% organic matter. This allows for better storage of nutrients and water.