As we come into the warmer months of the year, we see a lot of good looking lawns. A beautiful lawn is a sense of pride for many people. We all look forward to the barbeques and get togethers, and it’s nice to hear comments about how green and healthy it looks this year! Let’s face it, having a lush green lawn simply feels great.
Sadly, a percentage of homeowners choose to sacrifice environmental health in the pursuit of the “perfect” lawn. The good news: you don’t have to decide between caring about how nice your lawn looks and decreasing your carbon footprint. This is a major point of focus for us at Blades of Green. We strive to make lawns healthier while having minimal impact on the environment, and we love to educate our friends and neighbors how to make greener choices.
Help protect the environment by learning how your lawn care habits impact your local ecosystem, and remember, small changes do add up.
What’s in the water?
Phosphorus is a naturally occurring nutrient found in soil that is essential for the health of your lawn’s root systems. Many fertilizers are phosphorus based, but adding this nutrient to soil that is already saturated can have a negative effect on your local ecosystem.
This issue is highly avoidable, because it is likely your lawn doesn’t need additional phosphorus.
If that is the case, how can homeowners tell if their fertilization habits are doing more harm than good?
There are two harmful mistakes homeowners tend to make with fertilizer:
Oversaturating the lawn with phosphorus and nitrogen. If there is already a sufficient amount of the nutrient in the soil, any excess will not be absorbed by the grass. Instead, it is washed away by rain or sprinklers. It ends up in in your local streams, lakes, and rivers through the sewage drain system. The major issue here is that not only does phosphorus make the grass grow, it also acts as a superfood to algae. An overabundance of algae not only damages brackish and freshwater environments, but throws entire ecosystems out of balance. Marine life suffers from the oxygen imbalance in the water. Our own Chesapeake Bay is plagued by algal blooms, which is a direct cause of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution.
Fertilizing dormant grass. Grass has a growth cycle, and many homeowners end up fertilizing grass in its dormant stage. During dormancy, grass may look like it is dying, but this is not the case. Adding fertilizer at this point will not have any benefit.
A healthy, thick, and full lawn is able to retain more water and prevent more runoff. This can help with the phosphorus leakage problem, but your best bet is to know the chemical composition of your lawn.
The trick is knowing which nutrients the soil in your lawn requires, and the best way to do this a professional soil testing. That is precisely why we include soil testing as part of our lawn care packages. Once we decipher specifically which nutrients your lawn is missing, we are able to address it in a way that is much easier on the environment.
Working with chemicals
The use of herbicides and pesticides has greatly increased over the past 20 years. Creatures like birds, frogs, salamanders, and bees are often negatively affected by these treatments, even though they aren’t the targets. Unfortunately, these compounds can be toxic to these animals and their habitats. Not only that, but microorganisms that help keep your soil healthy can also be negatively affected.
These types of compounds pack a punch when it comes to keeping your landscape beautiful, and it is easy to see why homeowners may go overboard in using them. As a company that is determined to reduce pesticide risk for families and the environment, we’ve tested a lot of products. Our lawn care strategy is built using organic-based products, applied to your lawn at times scientifically proven to maximize health.
Don’t let harsh chemicals put your family at risk! One of the most effective ways of reducing excess chemical usage is letting a professional take the reigns. Our licensed lawn care pros have the training required to know what kind and how much to apply. Sticking to the minimum effective dosage and making good informed decisions on the compounds you use is key to reduce impact on the environment.