Caring for Your Lawn and Garden without Harmful Chemicals

Day 117 – Having a lush, healthy lawn is a big priority for many homeowners. Many hours and dollars are devoted to making front lawns and accompanying gardens aesthetically appealing. Herbicides, insecticides and fungicides, collectively known as pesticides, have been a mainstay in the lawn care industry. They have successfully helped many homeowners reach the pinnacle of green grass grandeur. On average, 70 million tons of fertilizers and pesticides are applied annually to residential lawns and gardens. Unfortunately, many of them are harmful to humans and the environment.

Thankfully, there are some simple tips you can do to achieve a great lawn without the chemicals. I compiled a list from various resources. (Old World Garden Farms, Earth911)

  1. Don’t cut your grass too low and don’t take more than 1/4 off at a time. Removing too much at once can cause a lot of stress on the grass, which in turn can cause long term damage.
  2. Keep your blades sharp. Worn out blades can cause the tips of grass blades to be damaged and turn brown. This can result in homeowners overwatering, thinking the brown grass is caused by lack of water.
  3. Don’t bag your clippings. You are taking away a great source of nutrients for your lawn when you bag your clippings and toss them in the garbage.
  4. Relax when it comes to a few weeds. Realize that a weed here or there is not the end of the world. The diversity actually helps create a healthier lawn and landscape.
  5. Plant native plants in your garden. As mentioned on Day 99, native plants do not need artificial fertilizers or pesticides. They have adapted to conditions in their environment and are very low maintenance.
  6. Call in the Ladybug army. Instead of using pesticides, consider using Ladybugs. They gobble up aphids, scale, mites, and mealybugs. Also, the larvae of lacewings feast on spider mites, thrips, and whiteflies, and can devour as many as 100 aphids a day.
  7. Water your grass thoroughly, but infrequently. A good soaking once a week, should be sufficient.
  8. Consider making homemade weed killer. Pesticides and herbicides used in traditional lawn maintenance can harm beneficial insects and animals. And if not fully absorbed, these chemicals can soak through soil and contaminate groundwater. Or they may run off into streams and lakes where they endanger aquatic life. Check out Lawn Love and their recipe for homemade weed killer.

Other resources to check out:

  1. Consumer Report’s list of organic solutions to weeds and pests.
  2. Consider companies like Sunday, when deciding on lawn care options. By using all natural ingredients, they can offer you a safe and environmentally friendly way to achieve that perfect lawn.

So, think twice before spraying your grass and garden with chemicals that could harm you and the planet.

Tomorrow, celebrating “Stop Food Waste Day.”