Iconic of the American landscape, lawns symbolized wealth and influence for early Americans. While lawns serve as important spaces for play, gathering and relaxation, they also have major environmental, economic and resource consequences. Most people would prefer not to sink large amounts of money and time into the care of large lawns. Almost no one wants to use chemicals that could compromise the health of their family, pets, surrounding nature and clean water for a perfect lawn. Taking this into consideration along with how much lawn is required to fit the needs of your family is imperative to enjoying your house and landscape.
- Size your lawn to family needs to avoid excess maintenance and expense.
- Avoid lawn in areas that can’t be used for activities. Eliminate hard to mow slopes and replace lawn with low shrubs and perennials.
- Select the right type of lawn grass to limit mowing, fertilizer and chemicals.
- Consider organic lawn maintenance alternatives.
- Don’t try to grow lawn under trees. Lawn stunts the growth of small trees and won’t tolerate the shade or water demands of large trees.
- Perform soil tests every other year, adjusting nutrient applications until you reach the desired levels. At that point stop all nutrient application. Applying lime every fall when not needed has a negative impact on other plants and costs more than soil testing. Excess nitrogen runs off to the river causing algae growth thereby reducing the value and beauty of the river and fouling drinking water sources.