Posted: July 30, 2014
Golf courses are exempt from the cosmetic pesticide ban in Ontario, meaning they are allowed to spray strong pesticides that Western, and homeowners, are not. In extreme cases, golf courses have dyed ponds blue to mask algal blooms, and spray painted grass to make it look green. These chemicals compromise the integrity of the grass, and are toxic to living organisms.
Luckily, you can help your lawn look green while still being green. Environmentally preferred methods of caring for your lawn are less hassle, and create a healthier lawn. Follow the tips below to find out how to create a disease resistant, non-toxic turf:
1) Mow it high and let it lie
Set the cutting height on your lawn mower to 2.5 inches or higher. Longer grass prevents weeds and insects from invading. It also promotes root growth, which helps to lock in moisture. Once you have cut the grass, save yourself the hassle of raking, and leave it on the ground. The dead layer of grass provides nutrients and acts like a fertilizer. It also stores extra moisture during times of drought.
2) Water deeply
If the rain doesn’t suffice and you need to water your lawn, it is better to soak your lawn once every one or two weeks rather than watering it every day. This will promote longer roots, making your lawn more tolerant to drought.
3) Water in the morning
Water your lawn before 9 a.m. Since it is cooler in the morning, you will minimize evaporation and get the most out of your water. Watering at night is not recommended; it fosters the growth of fungus and disease because the lawn stays wet for too long.
4) Prevent pests
Mowing high and leaving grass clippings behind will help to reduce invasion by pests. You can also remove the roots of weeds to prevent re-growth, and avoid adding other substances to the soil as these may carry foreign organisms.
5) Plant something different
Reduce the area of grass on your lawn by planting native wildflowers, or creating an herb or vegetable garden. These plants will look great, and benefit the eco-system! Alternatively, you can add clover to your grass seed. This will make your lawn healthier by increasing beneficial nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
Seeding will fill in spaces that could be taken over by weeds. It is best to loosen the soil first, spread compost material or peat moss over the area, and then use a hardy species of grass to fill in the patches.
Hopefully, these eco-friendly tips will help you and your lawn to be a little greener this summer!