Having a beautiful lawn comes with many benefits. It’s a point of pride for people…the frame to your artwork, the moat to your castle. It’s also not as fun to play a game of cornhole on the concrete. But there are actually many environmental benefits to lawn care as well. This surprises many of our customers in Austin, Orlando, and DC, because we’re always hearing about the negative impacts of having a lawn. “One hour of gas-powered lawn mowing produces as much pollution as four hours of driving a car,” a National Geographic article explains. We don’t deny it, a perfect lawn isn’t perfect for the environment. However, many of a lawn’s negative effects can be avoided or mitigated with proper lawn care. Here we’ve laid out some lessons in the environmental benefits of lawn care.
Some positive effects of having a lawn (from GroGood):
- Prevents soil erosion and stabilizes dust.
- Absorbs rainwater.
- Reduces glare and noise.
- Cleans the air. Grass cleans the air by trapping dust and smoke particles.
- Cools the environment.
- Improves and restores the soil.
Tips for environmentally friendly lawn care:
Learn the basics (from epa.gov)
- Develop Healthy Soil
- Choose a grass type suited to your climate
- Mow high, often, and with sharp blades,
- Water deeply but not too often
- Correct thatch buildup
Manmade chemical pesticides like DDT are notoriously bad for the environment. Sure, they’re very effective at killing insects, but has been shown to cause reproductive ailments in birds, such as thinner egg shells. Instead, try using a bio-pesticide, such as a pheromone pesticide or a microbial pesticides, which are better suited to control insect populations while being eco-friendly.
Mulch or compost
The easiest option here is to throw on a mulching blade and mulch while you mow. This is the easiest option (and cheapest), and it’s also good for your lawn. Contrary to popular belief, it does not promote thatch buildup. Another option is to collect the dead grass clippings and add them to your compost bin.
One of the biggest negative impacts lawns have on the environment is due to manmade irrigation. According to National Geographic, “A hose running a sprinkler is estimated to use nine gallons per minute, or 530 gallons per hour.” That’s a lot of water. Now, a positive solution is to simply harvest rainwater during storms. Store it in drums until you’d like to irrigate.
Use an electric mower
You’ll save on energy, and you’ll save money. They even make electric riding mowers.
Other than that, just keeping a healthy and thick lawn is a great way to avoid environmental woes. So specialty services like aeration, overseeding, and leaf removal can do wonders in making your lawn look great and keeping the environment clean. Have any tips we might have missed? Shoot us an email or comment below! Go like us on Facebook for a steady stream of lawn and landscape tips.