Maintaining the grounds in a traditional manner and according to the homeowners association’s governing documents is not always the “greenest” endeavor. Whether it is using chemical-laden pesticides and fertilizer or working with greenhouse gas-producing lawn tools, some methods of lawn upkeep can be tough on the environment. Thankfully, there are plenty of eco-friendly ways to keep your homeowners association grounds looking lush. So reduce your carbon footprint, and try some of these simple tips:
- Conserve water by watering the lawns more heavily, but less often. By doing this, you are ultimately using less water because the heavier watering lasts longer, allowing you to spread out how often you have to water the lawns. Also, watering in the early morning or early evening gives water a chance to soak into the soil without evaporating as it would during the hottest parts of the day. Finally, consider switching the sprinklers in the homeowners association to water-saving sprinklers and hose nozzles.
- If the lawns are mowed on a regular basis a light amount of grass clippings can be left on the lawns after mowing. This is an easy way to nourish the lawns because clippings help replenish the soil after they decompose, which in turn encourages healthy grass growth.
- Do not cut grass too short. Keeping grassy areas in the homeowners association at the tall end of optimal mowing height (usually between one and three inches depending on the type of grass) helps ensure that the root systems are deep enough to protect the grass from getting scorched by the summer sun. To avoid stressing the grass, a good rule of thumb is to cut no more than 1/3 of the grass’ current height. Be sure to cut the grass often.
- Encourage members in the homeowners association to trade in their gas-powered lawn mowers for an electric or battery-powered mower. Gas-powered engines contribute significantly to air pollution, so switching to an electric or battery-powered mower reduces carbon emissions. Both types of mowers are easy to start, and most battery-powered mowers are rechargeable and run up to 70 minutes. Electric and battery-powered versions of other gas-powered lawn tools, such as weed whackers and leaf blowers, are also available.
- Go organic when choosing a fertilizer. Organic fertilizers take longer to show results than chemical fertilizers; however, organic fertilizer will improve soil quality in the long run and yield a much greener lawn. Conversely, chemical fertilizers can deplete the soil of minerals, pollute ground water runoff and cause soil to become too acidic.
The world is becoming a more eco-friendly place, and these lawn tips are steps you can take in your homeowners association and encourage members to take as well.