When thinking of spring, we think of all things green. We want our yards to be lush and green, but keeping it green while “going green” can be challenging. There are eco-friendly ways to spruce up our yards for spring and then manage it in an eco-friendly way to maintain that beautiful yard we crave.
First step: clean it up!
Before you begin, you need to prepare your palette. This means you need to clear your yard of any debris that’s accumulated over the winter.
Pick up fallen limbs. Trim any low-lying limbs or overly bushy bushes. Consider whether you’re going to be replacing flower bed edging or stepping stones.
If you’ve got a lot, check into renting a dumpster to haul away the non-compostable and non-recyclable detritus you clear. Make certain you’re getting a dumpster size that’s going to hold everything—it’s easy to underestimate how much you’re getting rid of.
Once you’re spring-cleaned your yard, you’re ready to begin your new eco-friendly landscaping.
Eco-friendly pest control
When it comes to pest control, the markets have responded to the call for eco-friendly pesticides. There are biopesticides – chemicals made from naturally occurring elements – readily available in lawn care centers. These natural pesticides utilize chemicals such as pheromones to control insect populations.
Adjust the height of your mower
This is a simple trick for making your lawn less of a water hog. Setting your mower to an increased height gives your grass an advantage over weeds that try to pop up. Taller grass is more resistant to drought conditions and better able to naturally resist pests. Maintaining your grass height between 3 to 3½ inches tall encourages deeper root growth and a healthier lawn.
Don’t toss the clippings
You have options when it comes to your lawn clippings. You can take the easy route and mulch while you mow by attaching a mulching blade. If you bag the clippings, you can dispose of them but you may have to pay for the waste removal. Or you can add them to a compost pile.
A bird’s got to bathe
Nothing dresses up a yard more than a birdbath. The success of a lawn makeover is in the details, and a birdbath can be easily incorporated into any landscaping scheme. Include feeders and bird-attracting plants and you’ll have your own eco-friendly bird sanctuary right in your backyard.
When the rains don’t come
The best way to water the lawn is a good rainstorm. But too often Mother Nature doesn’t adhere to our watering schedules. Lawn watering can place a strain on water supplies, but we can store up rainwater to offset our irrigation needs. Harvest rainwater and store it in drums for future use. If you have gutters with downspouts, all you need to do is capture that water. Grab an electric pump from your hardware store and your irrigation system is ready to go.
Helping your yard grow fresh and green through “green” practices and maintenance is a simple way to achieve that gorgeous lawn you want. Not only is it good for the environment around us all but you’ll have a yard that you can brag about.
About the author: Drew Miller is a San Francisco area freelance writer who covers natural living and parenting topics.
Image: Rachel Kramer