Want to take big steps to reduce your carbon footprint?
No need for major life changes or a brand new Tesla (although that would be nice…). Just step into your own backyard.
Traditional lawn care is notorious for unsustainable practices. Everything from overwatering, to unhealthy fertilizing, to gas mowing wastes resources and pollutes our local ecosystem.
Sun Power Lawn Care was founded with the mission to help undo that damage by using only solar-powered electric equipment. But we know that creating a more sustainable world takes a lot of knowledge and a lot of teamwork.
With that in mind, we wanted to share some easy eco-friendly lawn care tips for greener, healthier lawns and communities.
Our Top 5 Easy Eco-Friendly Lawn Care Tips
1. Leave Lawn Clippings on the Grass After Mowing
Throwing out your lawn clippings is like throwing away a brand new bag of organic fertilizer. Instead, keep these lawn clippings on the ground to recycle nutrients.
As these clippings decompose, they put essential nutrients right back into the soil. Leaving them on your lawn after mowing will help feed your grass to keep it healthy and green—this also means you can cut down on fertilizer.
Some people worry that leaving grass clippings will lead to thatch (a layer of matted plant material above the soil). However, this is largely a misconception. As long as you’re mowing regularly, your clippings will decompose quickly and won’t contribute to thatch. You want fresh, short clippings that can easily be broken down into grass food—a general rule of thumb is to make sure you’re not cutting more than a third of the grass blade off.
2. Only Use Fertilizer When Grass Is Actively Growing
Fertilizers can be effective tools for supporting the health of your lawn—but when used incorrectly, they can lead to serious damage and waste.
Over-fertilization can throw off the balance of chemicals in your soil, wilting or killing plants and making your yard more susceptible to pests and disease. Over-fertilization also pollutes local water systems with excess nutrients.
That’s why it’s important only to put fertilizer down when your grass is actively growing, during the spring and summer months. During that time, the fertilizer will be successfully absorbed by your lawn and support grass growth.
However, if you put down fertilizer in the cooler fall and winter seasons, when Florida grass goes dormant, it will simply run off into our water system (not to mention waste your money).
Make sure to keep the weather in mind, too—putting fertilizer down before heavy rain will just cause it to be washed out. For a comprehensive rundown on how and when to use fertilizer, check out this appropriate fertilization guide from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).
3. Use Electric Equipment
Did you know that up to 5% of all U.S. air pollution comes from gas lawn mowers?
Plus, there’s the fumes, spills on your grass, and the noise…
In other words: all the reasons we felt an all-electric, eco-friendly lawn care service like Sun Power Lawn Care was necessary.
Electric mowers, weeders and other equipment provide an environmentally friendly alternative to gas mowers. There’s no reliance on fossil fuels and no gas seeping into your soil. Electric equipment is also much quieter and doesn’t contribute to noise pollution in your neighborhood.
At Sun Power Lawn Care, we try to take it a step further by working with equipment that’s charged via solar panels. But no matter how you choose to reduce or remove gas equipment from your lawn care routine, you’ll be taking a significant step to reducing both your carbon footprint and pollution in your community.
4. Use Native Plants
With so many invasive species creeping in Florida’s ecosystem, many locals have become interested in cultivating native plants.
That’s great for a couple of reasons. Big picture? Native plants protect and feed native wildlife, so they support the sustainability of local habitats.
But there are more immediate benefits, too. Native Florida plants are accustomed to our local climate and soils, so you won’t need tons of special fertilizers or lots of watering to keep them healthy.
Again, UF/IFAS has a great rundown of native plants you can use in your own landscaping, including everything from flowers to shrubs to trees. You might also be interested in contacting an eco-conscious landscaper like our friends at Naturally Green Landscape Design.
5. Check Your Irrigation System for Clogs and Leaks
We’ve covered this before, but it’s definitely worth mentioning again. A poorly maintained irrigation system is the quickest and easiest way to waste water.
Checking for leaks, clogs, and misaligned sprinkler heads will ensure that your system is running at optimal pressure and not using any more water than it should to keep your lawn healthy. It’s an important eco-friendly lawn care solution with the added bonus of keeping your water bill down.
Not sure about the state of your sprinkler system? Contact Sun Power Lawn Care for irrigation check and sprinkler maintenance services—currently $20 off for newsletter subscribers.