A green yard, in every sense
A two story house, a white Fence, and green grass. For decades these were the standard of the American dream. Think of the relief of coming home after a long day’s work, stepping out of your car, and being greeted by the smell of fresh cut grass, or having a picnic with your children out in the backyard.
Today, there is a movement to replace the traditional front lawn with a home farm. The reason why is simple: Americans are becoming more and more ecologically conscious (plus, there is a misconception that grass is bad for the environment). But home farming is not for everyone; whether it’s the homeowners association or a preference for the tried and true, some people just prefer the soft caress of grass.
It’s not hard to see where the idea that grass lawns are unhealthy started. An average lawn in the United States is treated with about ten times as many pesticides as farmland, acre for acre. Let’s be clear, pesticides are not an environmentally responsible way to maintain a healthy lawn. Chemicals can run off or leach into the soil, contaminating the groundwater, and they can have a devastating effect on wildlife: 60% to 90% of earthworms can be killed when pesticide is applied, according to the Virginia Cooperative Extension; and 60 to 70 million birds die each year in the United States from pesticide poisoning.
But a naturally healthy lawn, maintained by organic practices, can work wonders for the environment and your home. They prevent runoff and absorb rain better than both wheat and hay fields, they help fight pollution by trapping dust and dirt released into the air, and they even increase your home’s value!
So how do you make your lawn both environmentally responsible and the picture of Rockwellian bliss? One simple way is to hire landscapers trained in organic lawn care. Today, many lawn care professionals can provide everything from a simple mow and trim to in depth soil treatment plans to maximize your lawn space.
But for those of you who are DIY inclined, there are some simple tricks you can put into practice for environmentally-conscious lawn care. Corn gluten meals, for instance, work wonders as a natural weedkiller, and spreading compost is a natural way of enriching your lawn without resorting to artificial fertilizers.
What are some of your favorite environmentally responsible lawn care tips? Leave them in the comments below.