The Grass Facts
While it may not be the most environmentally friendly or low-maintenance aspect of the home garden, a lot of people still have a deep attachment to their little patch of grass.
Happily, even lawn care and maintenance has become more sustainable. “Lawns are definitely still out there,” says Laurie Anderson, a certified horticulturalist and principal of Anderson Garden Services Inc. “What’s changed is that we’re now using more organic fertilizers instead of chemical fertilizers to keep them green, like turkey fertilizer.” While delivering natural nutrition to lawns has been a relatively easy fix for homeowners, that hasn’t been the case with managing problems like moss. Solving the moss conundrum involves making choices, says Anderson.
“The only non-chemical way to remove moss from a lawn is to power rake it, which also tears up the grass in the process,” says Anderson. Power raking also spreads moss spores and encourages moss growth. “What I tell people is ‘Don’t put a lawn on the north side of the house. Crushed gravel and some nice pavers or just increasing the garden bed space are great ways to reduce the size of a lawn.’” If you must have a lawn, try to keep it fairly compact, as less grass will require less watering. Also, the smaller the grassy area, the more likely you are to be able to keep it trim using an environmentally friendly manual pushmower.