By: Justin Butts Photos by: Rachel Benavides
It is easy to keep a lush and luxuriant lawn without a lot of work and harsh, expensive chemicals. The key to a beautiful, water-conserving lawn is to use the grass to get the soil healthy!
Try these simple techniques yourself, or insist that your lawn-care professionals adopt these practices on your lawn. These methods will save you and your lawn-care company a lot of time, money, and water while creating a greener and lusher lawn.
CUT GRASS TO FOUR INCHES TALL OR TALLER
Cut your grass tall—at least four inches tall or taller. Short grass is a breeding ground for weeds because it allows sunlight to penetrate the soil. Tall grass shades the soil, grows more densely, chokes out weeds, and conserves water. This single simple step of cutting the grass tall makes chemical herbicides completely obsolete.
LEAVE ALL CLIPPINGS ON THE LAWN
Leave all grass clippings on the lawn. Even better, mow over your fallen leaves to chop them up and integrate them into the soil. Mowed leaves and grass clippings are excellent natural fertilizer for your lawn. You will never again have to rake and bag this magnificent fertilizer, drive it to the transfer station, and then pay to dump it!
FERTILIZE LAWN WITH NATURAL COMPOST
Fertilize the lawn in spring and fall with a good organic compost. Harsh chemical fertilizers kill the beneficial microbes in the soil and leave your lawn weak and thirsty. When the heat comes, as it always does, chemically-treated lawns look the worst and require the most water.
Compost, however, builds healthy, humus-rich soil. Good soil promotes deep roots, and deep-rooted grass requires less water to stay green. You can use a small rotary compost spreader to easily and quickly fertilize with compost.
HAND BROADCAST CLOVER SEEDS EACH SPRING
Hand broadcast clover over your lawn each spring. Clover fertilizes your lawn though nitrogen fixation, and it grows most quickly in bare patches to choke out weeds. Grass will quickly fill in the clover patches. Inexpensive clover seeds are available on-line. These traditional lawn care techniques can save a lot of time, money, and water. Your lawn will look great this summer and leave you with plenty of free time to enjoy it!