Sustainable Lawns: 10 Eco-Friendly Changes to Make Your Lawn Greener
There’s nothing like a beautiful garden to spruce up your property. However, you may not have realized most yards aren’t eco-friendly because they require so many resources to sustain. That’s why homeowners may want to reconsider how they care for their yards. Here are 10 tricks homeowners can use to maintain sustainable lawns:
1. Collect Rainwater
Aside from soil and sunshine, plants need water to stay healthy. But clean water isn’t an infinite resource — and today, more than 1 billion people worldwide live in locations with high water vulnerability.
It’s essential to look for ways to conserve our clean water supplies so we can avoid further water shortages.
Therefore, you should harvest rainwater to use for your lawn. Rather than tap into your property’s system, you can collect water from storms, which in turn helps you save money while you preserve your standard supply. It’s the perfect way to maintain sustainable lawns.
- Attach a downspout with a debris filter to your gutter.
- Connect the downspout to a small hole you’ve cut in a barrel.
- Add a spigot to the barrel so you can access the rainwater.
There are a few more steps involved, but you get the idea: whenever your area has a rainy day, you’ll have a way to collect rainwater to use for your garden on sunny afternoons.
2. Add Organic Mulch
While mulch adds an aesthetic touch to your garden, your plants and flowers can benefit from the material, too. That’s because mulch holds moisture in the root area. Plus, mulch can prevent weed growth throughout your lawn. It’s a must for eco-friendly yards.
Be sure to choose an organic mulch with natural materials, such as wood chips, grass clippings, and pine needles. These materials are better for the environment since they’ll naturally decompose, which in turn provides more nutrients for the garden. Other mulches contain rubbers and plastics that offer few benefits.
3. Decorate With Beneficial Materials
It’s always nice to add a personal touch to your garden, whether you want to add some embellished rocks or install a stone birdbath. However, you need to carefully consider how your landscaping will impact the environment. This point stands for patio and deck additions, too.
For example, you can reduce cooling costs by 50% when you install awnings in a warm climate. That’s also a sustainable decision since you can decrease how much carbon emissions your air conditioner produces. Be sure to think about every decorative choice you make.
4. Start a Compost Pile
Now’s a great time to start a compost pile. This project will generate eco-friendly fertilizer from your food scraps. Basically, you’ll have a method to reduce waste while you grow healthy plants.
Here’s how to begin:
- Designate a slightly sunny spot in your yard for the compost pile.
- Mix both garden and food scraps in the area.
- Keep the compost pile a little moist.
- Add a tarp to provide cover.
- Turn over the compost pile every few weeks.
Then, your compost pile will draw in worms and other bugs to help transform the scraps into compost over the next few months.
5. Plant Groundcover, Not Grass
Did you know grass itself can be detrimental to ecosystems? Those perfect green lawns people have come to love eventually homogenize the environment. Over time, biodiversity becomes almost nonexistent. Plus, grass requires various resources to stay intact.
Instead, you should consider groundcover for your lawn. These are plants that naturally grow low to the ground over wide expanses. These alternatives require little mowing and no watering.
From clover to moss and many other variations, you can choose between different options for different areas in your yard. Then, you’ll have a beautiful space that isn’t so unsustainable.
6. Try a Rain Garden
Rather than put plants sporadically across your lawn, you should consider a rain garden, where you place flowers and other plants in a depressed area designed to collect water runoff. It’s a natural solution to create more drainage possibilities. Additionally, it gives wildlife a place to live.
7. Choose Only Native Plants
If you add invasive plants to your garden, you can cause damage to the local ecosystem. These species cause pest issues, as animals aren’t able to use them for food or habitats. This issue leads to less biodiversity.
Instead, you should only use native varieties that can naturally adjust to the surrounding location. All sustainable lawns need native plants.
8. Skip the Fertilizers and Herbicides
Do your best to avoid fertilizers and herbicides. These products include harmful chemicals that can negatively impact the soil in your yard, which has many repercussions down the line. It’s far better to use compost, as well as natural herbicides, so you don’t damage the environment.
9. Install Outdoor Solar Lights
Keep your garden lit with solar lights. This option doesn’t require any extra setup, and you can place the fixtures wherever you want throughout your lawn. It’s an easy way to reduce carbon emissions and monthly costs from conventional electric lights while you brighten up the space.
If you already have solar power for your home, you should be able to set up garden lights and connect them to your current energy source, which can give you the same results.
10. Use a Sprinkler System
How much water do you use to keep your lawn green? It’s often tricky to keep track, so you can end up with unnecessary waste.
Instead, you may want to consider a sprinkler system. This technology often comes with configurations designed to allow users to set exactly how much water the lawn needs. Plus, you can put a timer on the setup so you only run the sprinklers when necessary.
Keep These Tricks in Mind to Create Sustainable Lawns
As you work to create a gorgeous yard, you should think about how your choices impact the environment. Traditional lawns require numerous resources to maintain, so they’re not always the most sustainable. However, you can make adjustments so your lawn becomes both attractive and eco-friendly.