Below are easy steps you can take to have a beautiful, healthy lawn and still be kind to the environment.
- Talk with your landscaper : See how to reduce dependency on pesticides and fertilizers and insure they are complying with the NJ Fertilizer Law and restrictions listed below.
- Follow New Jersey fertilizer Laws including : No fertilizer containing phosphorus or nitrogen can be applied between Dec. 1 and March 1 or whenever the ground is frozen, or applied within 25 feet of a body of water * or applied before a heavy rainfall. The use of fertilizer containing nitrogen be restricted to an annual total of 4.25 pounds of total nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Confirm your fertilizer applicator is certified & adhering to regulations. Encourage using an alternate earth friendly fertilizer such as compost tea.
- Pesticides can do more harm than good. They kill the microbial life necessary for healthy soil and can kill pests’ natural enemies. This invites disease and insect infestation which leads to more pesticide use and traps you in an unhealthy costly chemical cycle. When necessary use corn gluten an organic plant based product to control weeds.
- Over seed in spring and fall—a dense lawn resists weeds and reduces the need for pesticides.
- Cut it and Leave it: Grass Clippings contain phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen, all nutrients your lawn needs to grow strong and green. Request using a mulching blade when mowing, which chops the grass into small unnoticeable clippings that slip down to nourish the soil. C.I &L.I reduces the need for added fertilizers, and associated carting costs & emissions for hauling
- Set mower blades 3 ½” high. A taller lawn shades roots and holds moisture better.
- Water is a precious resource. Water with conservation in mind. Consider this: grass clippings are 90% water. Removing them and then turning on the sprinkler just doesn’t make sense. Cut it and leave means less watering.
- Water early or late in the day and not in midday when evaporation is high. Install rain sensors so that your sprinklers are not in use when it is raining.
Your green lawn, in addition to being beautiful, serves an important purpose: It keeps you cooler, traps dust and dirt from the atmosphere, and purifies water before it enters the aquifer as root mass and soil microbes capture and breakdown pollutants.
Contact Barbara at the USR Environmental Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit the NJDEP, Bureau of Pesticide Operations website by clicking HERE