A man once asked a monk how he could achieve enlightenment. His answer: “do nothing.” You can achieve a form of Bay enlightenment and have a respectable looking yard by doing virtually nothing at all. With all the time you save, you can spend more time on you deck snoozing, watching clouds or enjoying a cold beverage.
- Keep the Spreader in the Garage For the Next Five Years
You simply don’t need to fertilize your grass every year. About half of Bay residents never fertilize their yards, and their lawns are still green. My lawn is 140 years old, and as far as I know, has never been fertilized. Yet, it is extremely colorful and reasonably green. So join me and pledge to stop fertilizing for a few years and see if you can detect any difference in how your lawn responds.
- Use a Composting Lawn Mower
These mowers recycle lawn clippings on your yard, help build your soils, and preserve landfill space. According to surveys, nearly 60% of Bay residents practice this form of grass recycling. Using a composting mower helps meet at least a fourth of the nutrient needs of your yard, and saves dozens of hours of bagging over the course of a summer.
Mow Higher and Less Frequently
You can control weeds by shading them out. Set your mower height to three inches, and you will have both a healthier lawn and fewer weeds. Turf grass experts caution that cutting grass too short is the second leading cause of problem lawns
- Don’t Bother with Weed/Feed. An average acre of soil contains more than 200 million seeds in the top six inches of soil, which germinate under the right moisture, light and temperature conditions. Indeed, when you turn over grass and expose the underlying soil, about five percent of these seeds can germinate, or about 250 weeds per square foot. Do, don’t get involved in a battle you can’t win, and remember that the naked eye generally cannot distinguish between a perfect lawn and one containing up to 15 percent weeds.
- Never Apply Herbicides or Insecticides within 5 Feet of Pavement
You’ll just have to pull those weeds out by hand (or better yet, make your kids do it). Also, make sure to rinse out applicators away from paved areas too.
- Select a Real Natural Lawn Care Company
About 25% of us are true slackers, in that we are wealthy enough to pay a lawn care company to take care of our yards. While it’s laudable to get somebody else to do the sweating, a good slacker should insist on a company that uses organic fertilizers and natural pest management techniques. Although just about every lawn care companies have “green” in their name, this doesn’t imply that they practice environmentally-responsible lawn care. Before you sign a contract, check them out to see if they use natural or organic methods. In a recent survey, less than two percent of Chesapeake Bay residents that hired lawn care companies chose an environmentally-responsible natural lawn care company.
- Turn off the Spigot
Lawns generally recover quite nicely even after severe drought. Established lawns can and will survive a few weeks without rain, so save some both money and time by turning off the spigot.