Is Green Lawn Care Turning Into An Assault On Turfgrass?
Over the past few years, we've been hearing more and more talk about “green lawn care.” These articles often include advice to get rid of your lawn. They say homeowners are wasting valuable time, money, and water to keep a useless patch of green grass healthy. Plus, the chemicals American pour onto their lawns each year aren't good for the environment.
Does this mean the green movement is turning into an assault on turfgrass? If it is, that's bad news for some of us. Those working in the green industry might find their accounts drying up if customers stop having lawns to mow. And homeowners who still want a lawn will be wondering if there are any guilt-free options for keeping their grass.
While “green lawn care” articles often argue against lawns, you can make positive changes in your yard without tearing up the turfgrass. There are ways to be more environmentally friendly and still have a lovely lawn.
Changing How We Look At Lawns
Most lawns in America don't need all the water, fertilizer, and pesticides they're being given. You could safely cut back on all that and still have a nice lawn as long as you do it wisely. There are also organic alternatives to fertilizers and pesticides that work well.
More and more homeowners are turning to green/organic solutions for their lawn care needs. If you're a company working in the green industry, offering green and/or organic lawn care can give you an advantage over the competition.
Best Types of grass
Bermuda grass, buffalo grass, and zoysia have the best drought tolerance of the grasses commonly grown in Texas. They're all good options for a low-water lawn.
- Buffalograss is the most drought tolerant, but it also produces a thin turf and has low shade tolerance. It's good if you have a low-traffic lawn that gets lots of sun.
- Bermudagrass is thick-growing but doesn't do well in shade. It's good for high-traffic areas and full sun. You will have water it when there's no rain.
- Zoysiagrass grows slowly but has good drought and shade tolerance. Once established, it can handle moderate lawn traffic and it grows well in sun or partial shade.
Working Toward A Healthy Lawn
If you keep your lawn healthy, it won't need as much water and chemicals to keep the grass green and growing. When you let your grass grow deep roots, it needs less water. Grass that grows thick and dense won't have as much trouble with weeds. And if you provide healthy growing conditions, the chance of lawn disease is very low.
When you water, water deeply to encourage root formation. Wait until the grass is visibly stressed by lack of water before you turn on the sprinkles. A good sign of this is if you walk across the lawn and the grass blades don't spring-back. Also, aerate once a year to loosen up the soil and make room for new roots to grow.
Mow grass at the high-end of its recommended cutting height to help keep weeds down. Also, mow frequently enough that you're only removing the top 1/3 of the grass height each time. That will help prevent stress.
Fertilizing once a year with compost can replace all your other fertilzier applications. Just spread about 1/6 of an inch of compost over the lawn in the spring or early summer then lightly rake it into the soil. Be sure to mulch your grass clippings instead of bagging them. That'll return nutrients to the soil.
Green Lawn Maintenance
Even though how you take care of a “green” lawn is a little different, many of the maintenance tools stay the same. You'll still need a lawnmower to keep the grass at a healthy, manageable height. You'll need trimmers and edgers to keep the lawn looking neat and tidy. The lawn will still need to be aerated about once a year, and you'll still need hand tools like rakes to spread compost.
Another thing that won't change is that Richardson Saw & Lawnmower is still the best place to get your lawn mowers, trimmers, edgers, and other lawn maintenance tools. If you're in the market for lawn care equipment, stop in and see us. We'd love to help you find the right tool for all your yard jobs.