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February 23, 2021

Making your lawn as green as possible while trying to limit water or fertilizer usage can be a difficult balancing task. It requires hard work and a little lawn innovation. There are lots of different ways to try and preserve your lawn, but here are a couple of the most effective techniques.

1. Make more mulch

Be careful not to mulch when the grass is long. Mulching can prevent it from growing and contribute to a yellow lawn. The kind of mulch you use will depend on the area you live in and the benefits that you're trying to get. If you're looking for a cheap and general mulch option, then lawn clippings can be effective. One tip from HGTV for applying mulch is to vary the thickness over the course of your lawn. Some areas will need more mulch while others will need less.

2. Manage the sprinkler schedule

Don't feel obligated to water every day. In fact, watering your lawn less than once a day encourages the root system to dig deeper and become more well-developed. Avoid using an automated system. It doesn't take into account local rain amounts. Because an automated system often overwaters, it prevents a strong root system from developing. If you do have an automated system, try to schedule it for watering every other day. When you experience excess rain, turn off the sprinklers to conserve water.

3. Install a drip irrigation system

Drip irrigation is a low-pressure irrigation system in which nozzles are placed at the base of plants and water is applied very slowly. It's a highly efficient watering system both in terms of water and energy use. Installing a drip irrigation system can reduce water loss by up to 60 percent. Drip irrigation delivers water directly to the roots as fast as the soil can absorb it. This can require a major investment of energy on your part. Put on your gardening gloves and get to work on installation.

4. Work with a landscape designer

Depending on your current setup and what you hope to achieve with your lawn, it could be a worthwhile investment to work with a landscape designer, particularly if you live in an arid region. These professionals well-versed in how to design a lawn and garden in relation to climate, soil, water requirements and the like. They can also design sustainable landscaping for your home that helps remove some of the guesswork on your end.

5. Work with the weather

Install a water detection system that allows you to work with the weather so that your yard gets precisely the right amount of water. Certain lawn care steps will be dictated by the weather. Some living areas are better in the summer for fertilizer, while in others, autumn is best. If drought conditions are poignant, don't cut your grass. It will leave your grass vulnerable and turn it brown.

6. Let it grow

Letting your grass grow gives shade to the roots and can help retain moisture. Mowing your lawn too often can leave the grass more vulnerable to drying out and prevents efficient growth. When the grass is short, it forces the plant to invest energy to grow its blades and leaves instead of further developing a strong root system. The best eco-conscious root system will happen by letting your grass grow.

7. Aeration works

Aerating is a process where holes are poked in your yard and the grass receives better access to water and nutrients existing on the surface of the soil. If you have cool season grasses, you aerate at the end of the summer or beginning of fall. Warm season grasses are typically aerated earlier in the year. Fertilizing in conjunction with aeration can get fertilizer delivered to the roots of your grass. Pennington also explains that carefully maintaining a lawn can more effectively absorb water and carbon, prevent flooding and positively impact local ecology.

It is possible to have a beautiful lawn that's good for the environment. It may take a little extra effort, but it's a worthwhile project to dig into. With the right approach, you can have a beautiful lawn that's sustainable too.

Guest Post By: Natalie Jones


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Edward O. Paschich, Paschich Design Group

In 1976 I built my first house. It was a “Solar Adobe.” I went on to “Environmentally Responsible,” then to Tire Houses, Straw houses and even a small Daub and Wattle building pursuing Sustainable building.

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