Your Landscape - Your Environment
Treat your lawn as your personal slice of the environment.
1. Keep your lawn in good condition. Grass holds the soil in place and helps rainwater absorb into the soil to replenish our groundwater. Turfgrass is one of the best erosion-control plants.
2. Plant trees to remove carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the atmosphere. Each tree is a carbon bank.
3. Plant the right tree in the right place. Plant low growing trees under overhead lines. Larger trees need space to grow where they will pose less of a risk as they age.
4. Allow leaves to decompose in mulched beds, if possible. Some groundcovers, like vinca major, appreciate the organic blanket that decomposing leaves can provide. (Be careful because some groundcovers can be suffocated if covered with a deep mat of leaves.)
5. Separate your trees and lawn to help each do their best. Plant trees in a mulched border around your backyard. Group large growing trees to purposefully slow their growth. Very large trees can actually be a hazard close to our homes; grouped trees can reduce this hazard potential.
6. Put flowers in your landscape where you want to draw attention or create focus. For example, plant brightly colored annuals in beds close to the front door or place pots on the front step.
7. Use mulch to create an artificial forest floor under trees. Limit mulch to three inches in depth and keep it away from tree trunks.
8. Plant groundcovers in mulched beds (unless you are planting shrubs or perennials.) Groundcovers will reduce the need to replenish mulch on an annual basis.
9. Design your landscape to reduce edging. One way to do this is by creating mulched borders. Start at the fence line and bring the borders in from there. Use long, flowing curves and do not make borders any wider than you have plants to cover.
10. Mow lawns quickly to reduce pollution. (Shut the mower off when not in use.) Keep the blade sharp for more efficient mowing. Also, keep grass removed from the underside of the mower deck. Pam sprayed under the deck after cleaning will help prevent grass from building up.
11. Return grass clippings to your lawn. This works if you have little thatch in your lawn and you mow frequently. When grass is actively growing, mow every 4 to 7 days. The rest of the year, mow weekly. (When you mow frequently, a side discharge mower works as well as a mulching mower and uses less fuel, consequently it is less polluting.)
12. Plant protection products can reduce costly turf damage. Seeding needed to repair grub damage can be expensive. Preventing the damage can save you the expense of reseeding in the fall and reduce watering needs.
13. To reduce water usage, group low water requiring plants together and high watering plants together. Water according to plant needs.