By Sean James
One of the simplest ways to lessen the environmental impact of lawn care is to use a hand-powered or electric (corded or rechargeable) push mower. Granted, a push mower requires a bit more elbow grease, but if you’re willing to put in the effort, this option is often more affordable and a practical choice for small lawns. You must be diligent about timing, however. If the grass gets too long, mowing can become quite the challenge since the blades of grass will push over instead of being cut off. Electric rechargeable mowers are also a good choice. Look for a more powerful model, which will better mimic the force of a traditional mower. That extra power will also help and ensure your mower has enough endurance to make it through the whole lawn.
Mowing to the proper height is also vital to lawn health and environmental sustainability. The recommended height for a typical residential lawn is 63 to 76 mm (2.5 to 3 in.). This will help ensure thick turf with a deep root system. Most weed seeds need light to germinate; if you have thicker turf, light will be obstructed, resulting in fewer weeds. Remember to keep your expectations in check. Sure, the golf course down the road may have attractive, super-short grass, but the intensive practices and special grass varieties needed to achieve this look is simply not possible at home.
This article is part 2 of 8 from our blog series “Keeping it Green: Beautiful turf can be sustainable, too“.