5 Tips for More Sustainable Lawn Care

According to the EPA, the average American household uses 320 gallons of water per day, about 30 percent of which is devoted to outdoor uses. More than half of that outdoor water is used for watering lawns and gardens. Nationwide, landscape irrigation is estimated to account for nearly one-third of all residential water use, totaling nearly 9 billion gallons per day!

Grow More With Less Groundcover

Grow More With Less

Creative use of groundcovers can eliminate the need for a lawn.

But, it’s possible to cut back on your lawn’s thirst with even small adjustments. Vincent Simeone, author of Grow More With Less, provides some ideas.

– Reducing or replacing your lawn with low-maintenance alternatives can save time and backbreaking work, allowing you to spend more time enjoying your garden. Each season, try to eliminate a little more of your lawn—maybe 10 percent—and replace it with flower beds, groundcovers, or native grasses.

– You should designate a portion of your yard and make that a more naturalistic landscape to support wildlife and create a lower-maintenance garden. This can be accomplished by leaving the less-visible areas of the garden more wild while maintaining the front yard so your landscape offers natural beauty but does not turn into a jungle.

– Raise your mower deck to the highest setting or at least to 3 1⁄2 inches high, which will produce a thicker lawn with fewer weeds, requiring less water and fertilizer.

– Proper irrigation techniques will not only help develop deeprooted, drought-tolerant, and healthy lawns but will also save water.

– Using too much nitrogen can cause lawns to grow too fast, make them more vulnerable to pest problems, and harm your lawn. Make sure you read the fertilizer bag carefully before you apply fertilizers to your lawn and apply these products only at the recommended rate on the bag.