Environmentally Responsible Lawn Care
As a homeowner, figuring out the best way to care for your lawn can be a real challenge. We all want a vibrant, green lawn, however, a lot of people do not go about lawn care in the most environmentally responsible way. They rely on chemical-heavy products that provide a temporary solution rather than nurturing the overall health of your lawn. Here are a few tips that can help ensure you are approaching lawn care in the most environmentally responsible way.
This one may seem like a no brainer, but the reality is that many homeowners do not mow properly or efficiently. Grass should remain at a height of about 2 ½ to 3 inches at all times. By keeping grass at this height, there will be a more established root system that is in turn more drought resistant. It also helps to shade out the surface of the soil preventing weeds from popping up -- fewer weeds means reduced need for chemical treatments to remove them. Additionally, be sure to sharpen your mower blades at least twice during each season. Dull blades rip and tear the grass; making your lawn more susceptible to diseases.
Recycle Grass Clippings
One of the best and most environmentally conscious lawn care practices is called grasscycling. After mowing, rather than bagging up the resulting clippings, recycle them back into your lawn. Grass clippings are a natural source of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium and can provide the equivalent of one fertilizer application per year! Not to mention, by skipping bagging, you save space in landfills which is unfortunately where many of the bags end up.
Efficient use of water is not only an important part of lawn care, but also in preserving the environment. Water is a finite resource that is seemingly becoming more and more worrisome - especially during droughts. The best time to water is in the morning when temperatures are lower and winds are calmer; allowing the water to properly soak into the soil and be absorbed by the roots. Typically, lawns require 1-1.5 inches of rain a week meaning watering around twice a week should be sufficient. Most Colorado lawns have clay soils meaning over-watering drastically increases the likelihood of diseases, so we recommend investing in a rain gauge or water operating system that accurately tracks how much water you are applying. Don’t forget to take natural precipitation into consideration when planning your watering schedule. During times of heavy rainfall, there is a reduced need for watering.
Our Environmental Lawn Care Approach
Even after you’ve adopted the methods above, obtaining a healthy and green lawn can still be tricky. That’s why we are always here to help! We help clients get the lawn of their dreams by providing organic nutrition as part of our lawn care programs. We use millions of beneficial microbes and disease-fighting fungi in eco-friendly solutions to help stimulate healthy growth of your lawn without causing unnecessary harm to our environment.
What Should I Do to Care For My Trees?
Did you know that when trees are well taken care of, they add value to your home? Established grounds and mature trees around your home can increase its value by up to 15%. Just as important as the trees themselves is knowing how to responsibly take care of your trees. A lot of common tree care practices are not environmentally-friendly and waste large amounts of water. That’s why we encourage you to do some research and always contact an expert when you have questions regarding tree care or tree care products/services.
Safe and Effective Formulas
When we use products in our homes or on our skin, we make sure to only use products that are 100% safe. So, why should the products we use on our trees be considered any different? Many tree care products are chock full of harmful chemicals and it is important to do your research when deciding what products to use. Some people are under the impression that the only way to prevent pests and diseases on your trees is through the use of chemicals, but that is simply not true!
Homeowner’s Guide to Watering Your Lawn
Improper watering is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to causing other problems in your lawn. For something seemingly simple, there’s a lot that can go wrong.
Over-watering can make it easier for disease to take hold of your trees and grass, and allows water to move through the root zone into the subsoil, where the roots can’t reach. Under-watering can starve your lawn of important nutrients and lead to shallow roots, which can stunt your grass. Your lawn needs, on average, about 1 inch of water per week for maximum growth; and when Mother Nature doesn’t give us the rain we need when it needs it most, you may have to step in.
We asked our lawn and tree care professionals for their best advice on how to keep your landscape in top shape this year:
- Water Early in the Day - The time of day that you water matters more than you think. In the morning, lawns are wet with dew. This reduces the overall amount of evaporation that takes place, allowing more water to reach the root zone. Midday watering can lead to excessive evaporation, and watering at night increases your risk of lawn diseases taking hold. We recommend watering between 4 AM and 10 AM.
- Spread Water Uniformly - Sprinklers can make watering simpler, but they can vary in distribution patterns and require overlap to get uniform coverage on your lawn. If you have issues with flooded spots and dry spots, try using an empty coffee can or pot on the lawn to measure water application rates.
- Know your “problem spots” - sloped areas in your lawn, areas that get hit with afternoon sun, areas near sidewalks or driveways, heavily shaded areas - and take extra care to ensure that these areas are getting enough water to fully penetrate the soil.
- Avoid Over-Watering - Use a rain gauge to measure how much water you’re applying. Most lawns in Colorado have clay soils, which absorb water slowly. This means over-watering can make your plants more prone to pests can lead to stormwater runoff and pollution.
- Monitor Rainfall - Keep your eye on the weather. If rain is expected soon, you don’t need to water your lawn. Don’t apply more water to the lawn than what is absolutely necessary - we recommend about an inch of water per week, but you can gauge whether that is ideal for your lawn over time.
Taking care of your homes' lawn and trees should not mean sacrificing the safety of your family or the environment. Here at American Turf & Tree Care, we only use green products that are environmentally responsible and family-friendly. We are happy to suggest safe products or answer any questions about lawn or tree care that you may have.