By Jacqui Flaherty, Program Manager
The growing emphasis that many homeowners place on keeping their property pristine is reflective of many things. It is quite possible its a reflection of many homeowners that enjoy landscaping, it’s more likely that is is a reflection of the impact that a well-manicured lawn can make on the overall property value of a home. In a study conducted by Michigan State University, a well-manicured lawn was found to increase the value of a home anywhere from 5 to 11 percent. Much of that may be due to curb appeal. A home with curb appeal is one that is appealing to the naked eye, meaning prospective buyers already have a good first impression before even stepping foot inside the home. A home with great curb appeal will attract more prospective buyers likely adding to the amount homeowners can add to their asking price.
As the popularity of landscaping has grown, so, too, has the popularity of responsible landscaping. Read further to see ways to make your lawn environmentally friendly.
1) Remember something as simple as the seeds can make a big difference- Oftentimes, the region of the country will dictate which choice of grass seed is best for a given lawn. That’s because a grass that is suited to a particular area will require less maintenance which means less water and less reliance on substances to prevent or fix problems. Using less water is environmentally friendly, as is using less chemicals to solve problems related to the lawn. Consult with your a nursery or garden center for the types of grass seed best suited for your region. Nurseries and Garden Centers that are friends of the agency include: Suncrest Gardens, Dayton Nurseries, Graf Growers Garden Center, Donzell’s Flower and Garden Center and Paul’s Greenhouse. All businesses listed are Dreamscape Vendor Partners and assist the agency!
2) Organic diets can benefit the lawn, too- Many people prefer organic foods because of their taste and smaller carbon footprint than processed and preserved foods. Instead of chemical-based foods and fertilizers, consider an all-natural diet for your lawn. Compost heaps can generate important nutrients for your lawn and plants can be created simply from lawn clippings, raked leaves and the uneaten scraps from your kitchen–like fruit rinds, eggshells, and leftover coffee grounds.
3) Install an irrigation system- While soaking a lawn with water might seem good for the grass, chances are it’s not very good for the environment. An underground irrigation system, however, is designed to water lawns and plants at the root level, strengthening the grass and plants and saving some water in the meantime. Many systems are timer-operated and water in the early morning or early evening hours when the water will have maximum potential to benefit the lawn. Call our friends at Naragon Companies if this is something you are interested in! Naragon Companies are a vendor partner for our Dreamscape program and they also help Keep Akron Beautiful maintain all of our irrigated Flowerscape beds around the City of Akron!
4) Keep the grass cut at a proper level- Cutting too low is potentially very harmful to the grass. That’s because grass that is cut too short is increasingly susceptible to disease, insects and drought.
Remember to take these steps to make your lawn more environmentally friendly this spring/summer!