Turf grasses are typically exotic monocultures, in other words, they consist of a single species, which is most likely not native to the area where they are planted. The widespread use of turf grasses has lead to a number of environmental concerns. Before investing in turf grass, consider alternatives, like native grasses, clovers, native plantings or a meadow. But if you really want a lawn, here are some tips to create a healthy, more sustainable lawn
Keep it Alive
Don’t use pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. They kill the natural organisms that nourish and protect the soil.
Aerate the Soil
If your soil is compacted you can aerate in the fall. Aeration improves root growth, drainage and seed-germination.
Leave clippings, after mowing, on the lawn. The clippings will break down to provide nutrients for the grass.
Mow the leaves on the lawn. The leaf mulch will decompose and break down to protect and nurture the soil.
Let grass grow up to 4 inches. Longer grass can better shade its roots, conserve moisture and keep out weeds.
Dig up ‘weeds’ you really can’t stand. Try to avoid weed killers. Reseed in spring and fall to outcompete new weeds.
Fight Bugs with Bugs
Encourage a robust insect and wildlife population in your yard. A natural balance is the best means to avoid garden pests.
Water Less but Deep
Water less often but longer and use the cooler morning hours to avoid evaporation. The roots will grow deeper and stronger.
Care for Empty Spots
Restore and reseed bare spots in spring and fall with a combination of different turf grasses and composted soil.
For problems, check for insects and diseases and test the soil. Replace what is missing with certified organic supplements.