Simple ways to go green with your yardwork

| by Clive Pohl
Simple ways to go green with your yardwork

When working in your yard this summer consider an embrace of a few SIMPLE practices that will allow us to look guilt free into the eyes of our once and future grandchildren:

LAWN CARE:Take care when using lawn equipment or consider trading your gas mower in for an electric or human powered push mower. After all, the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from lawn equipment is 4 times the amount collected by the lawn itself and, by some estimates, more than 7 million gallons of fuel are spilled annually in the US alone while refueling.

WEED KILLERS: Use non-toxic alternatives to chemical-based weed ‘n’ feed products. Corn gluten (available at farm supply stores) is a safe, effective, “pre-emergent” that adds nitrogen to your soil. More information on corn gluten HERE. Do not use Roundup or related herbicides with glyphosate as an active ingredient. Despite claims to the contrary this product is acutely toxic to humans, earthworms, and beneficial insects, it reduces nitrogen fixation, and has been found to be persistent: 140 days were required for half of the applied glyphosate to break down or disappear from agricultural soils.

LANDSCAPE DESIGN: Reduce the size your lawn and replace as much sod (grass) as possible with native, drought resistant, low maintenance species like ground covers and ornamental grasses. There is no shortage of information on the importance of native species in supporting the full spectrum of life from insects to birdlife and it resounds upward from there. A wonderful book: "Bringing Nature Home" by Douglas Tallamy ( For more ideas visit the internet and when in KY visit the Salato Center in Frankfort which hosts a comprehensive Native Plant Program.

SO, consult with an experienced and knowledgeable landscape professional and HAVE FUN out there this summer!

Topics: Gardening & Landscaping

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