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Environmental Etiquette

(ARA) - A healthy lawn is not only a pleasure to look at, but it is also good for our environment. Here are several reasons why:

* Lawns and other turf areas provide a natural water filtration system.

* The root system purifies the water that goes through it.

* The lawn helps replenish the oxygen supply and filters airborne pollutants, like dust and soot.

* A healthy lawn also prevents soil erosion, reduces sunlight glare, builds topsoil, reduces noise and increases home value.

So now that you know why a healthy yard is good for the environment, here are some things you can do:

Composting

You may have noticed compost bins in your neighbor's backyard. You can build one yourself or buy a composter. If you build one, it should be at least three feet in diameter and four feet high in order to build up a hot internal temperature that gets it “cooking.” And John Deere recommends that you also use a fertilizer with 10 parts each of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. To control odor, use lime and a layer of soil. You can use many things to make your compost, but organic materials that will easily decompose, like leaves, grass clippings, straw and other disease-free vegetable matter, are best. And, in the spring, you can use your compost to spruce up your vegetable garden ... it's called "gardeners' gold.”

Grasscycling

Did you know that grasscycling is a way you can be environmentally friendly? Grasscycling is a process that returns nutrients to the soil while solving the problem of disposing of yard debris. You can grasscycle by following the John Deere one-third rule, which is to mow only one-third of the grass blade at a time. Or, you can use a mulching mower to cut and re-cut clippings into tiny pieces. And don't worry -- grasscycling won't cause thatch. Grass clippings are 85 percent water, so they decompose quickly and return nutrients to the lawn.

Watering

Water pollution has been a cause for concern around the globe. Did you know you have a water purification system right outside your door? It's your lawn. A healthy lawn actually helps filter contaminants out of rainwater. And maintaining this purification system can be simple. First, take a soil sample from your lawn and have it analyzed by your county extension agent or a landscape professional to make sure your lawn is receiving the nutrients it needs. Second, always follow the John Deere one-third rule. Third, make sure you follow fertilizer application directions to avoid burning your lawn. Finally, when it’s time to water, water deeply, but infrequently -- about 1 to 1 1/2 inches each week.

Following these simple tips can help protect your yard and the environment.

 

Courtesy of ARA Content  

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