Reducing Chemicals On Lawns
10 Steps To Get Your Lawn Off Chemicals
- Remove weeds by hand: Hand pulling weeds is the best method of weed control. More than 80% of weeds are annuals. Hand remove annuals before they seed, and remember to remove roots of perennials. Don't give up!
- Re-seed bare spots: Fill in bare soil patches before weeds take over. Plant a mixture of grasses rather than a single variety to build healthy turf that is drought and disease tolerant.
- Remove thatch: The matted and dense layer of dead plants and grass on your lawn can inhibit plant growth and prevent air, water, and nutrients from reaching the soil. If thatch is more than 2 centimeters thick, use raking and aeration to remove the excess.
- Aerate lawn: Aeration breaks through the thatch and reduces compaction of soil to encourage deeper rooting and allow water, nutrients, and organic matter to feed the soil.
- Use compost: If you need to fertilize, use compost. Compost will improve the soil's ability to retain and release nutrients and is alive with beneficial micro-organisms which speed up decomposition of grass clippings and thatch.
- Mow higher: Keep grass 12-18 centimetres high. The grass will have longer roots and be stronger and more able to crowd out weeds and shade the soil. Never cut off more than 1/3 of the height at a time. Keep the mower blades sharp so you don't damage the grass.
- Leave grass clippings: Less raking! Leave grass clippings on the lawn to return nutrients to the soil. Grass clippings begin to decompose almost immediately and are a free and natural fertilizer for your lawn.
- Water deeply and less frequently: Water your lawn once a week with no more than 2.5 centimetres of water. Longer grass means deeper roots and less watering. Frequent light watering encourages shallow roots and leaves the grass vulnerable to insects and disease. Water slowly for better absorption.
- Consider alternate plants: A variety of native plants, trees and shrubs, perennials, ground covers, and wild flowers provide the best defense against insects, weeds, and diseases that can cause problems for your lawn.
- Encourage and develop tolerance: A weed is simply a plant that isn't where it is supposed to be. Most insects are not harmful. Welcome birds and beneficial insects like ladybugs, spiders, and dragonflies.