A Truly Green Lawn

With spring comes lawn care and the opportunity to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Right now over 10 million pounds of pesticides are applied on Long Island every year. These vast amounts of fertilizers and water have a large environmental impact. Much of the fertilizer washes into waterways and ends up in the Long Island Sound. It then causes algae blooms due to the increase in nutrients. This leads to an increase in bacteria that decompose the algae when it eventually dies. The bacteria use large amounts of oxygen which harms fish and other marine life by creating dead zones where there is little oxygen.

There is an alternative: Organic lawn care is safer for the environment, easier, less time consuming and less expensive. Here are some simple techniques to use:

    Let your grass grow to a height of 3-3.5 in. Longer grass encourages deeper root growth and shades out weeds. Cut your lawn with sharp mower blades. Dull blades leave jagged edges on the grass. This greater surface area makes the grass more vulnerable to disease. In addition, you should leave the grass clipping on the lawn for mulch.

    It is better to water less frequently but for longer periods of time. Every seven to ten days is best even longer if there has been a heavy rain. More damage can be done by overwatering than by drought. Deep watering encourages deep root growth. With shallow watering roots are more susceptible to hot, dry weathe

    Overseed your lawn with a fescue blend instead of a single grass species. This grass diversity helps the lawn survive in different conditions. The best time to seed is August-September and late April into May.

    Keep your lawn aerated with earthworms and other soil life. A core aerator pokes holes in the lawn and allows water and air to get down further into the soil. Spreading a ΒΌ inch of compost or compost tea also helps provide nutrients, soil life, and water.   

    If you use a landscaping service ask them to follow organic landscaping procedures even if it means a slight change in your image of the perfect lawn. It is the right thing to do.