Every April, there’s a special day devoted to recognizing our environmental impact and helping to protect our vibrant planet: Earth Day.
In honor of this annual movement, we wanted to share some eco-friendly landscaping tips. We hope they empower homeowners— like you!— to make some greener lawn and plant care choices.
Here are four environmentally-friendly Earth Day tips to become a more ecologically-conscience homeowner this April:
1. Water Smarter
Nationwide, landscape irrigation practices use over seven billion gallons of water a day a day— one-third of all residential water use, according to the Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority (GSWSA). In fact, the average American family uses 30 percent of their water for outdoor use. This Earth Day, make a vow to conserve more water by hydrating your landscape, smarter.
Three big ways to cut down your outdoor water usage is to 1.) understand the best time to water and 2.) know when to stop watering 3.) use a moisture manager product to get more out of your watering.
Always water your lawn in the mornings, so the moisture has a better chance of absorbing into your soil rather than evaporating in the midday sun. When hydrating your grass, be sure to measure the amount you are spraying— with the good ol’ tuna can trick. Not sure what that is? Read our blog on how to properly hydrate your turf to find out.
Lastly, apply a product like Hydretain to your lawn or garden beds. It helps to absorb ambient moisture and slowly releases it to your plants, oftentimes cutting your watering needs by up to 50%.
2. Plant a Tree
You’ve probably seen local volunteers digging holes and planting trees. You might say, “That’s nice, but does it have any real environmental impact?” Absolutely!
Trees use the CO2 that we exhale and produce more oxygen for us to breathe. They also remove pollutants from the atmosphere, improving surrounding air quality. In major cities where pollution is high, trees actually save lives. One study found that New York’s trees save an average of eight lives a year! That’s because just one large tree can provide a day’s worth of oxygen for up to four people, according to findings by North Carolina State University. There are studies coming out now showing that if we planted 1 trillion trees all teh greenhouse gases present now could be sequestered and climate change stopped.
And that’s not all they do. Check out all the ways trees help the environment and get diggin’!
3. Switch to Organic
Organic fertilizers are typically more expensive, but we’ve got a few reasons why they’re often worth the investment for many environmentally-friendly homeowners.
Traditional chemical fertilizers are made using nonrenewable sources, like petroleum or natural gas, and are manufactured artificially and synthetically. You’re laying gas on your lawn— wow! These chemical solutions have been proven to pollute local waterways by flowing off your lawn due to overapplication, rain and runoff.
Organic fertilizers, by contrast, are made from plant and animal matter (like manure, leaves, compost), by-products of naturally decomposable materials. They’re safe for your local ecosystem and add long-lasting nutrients to your soil— not short-term results and long-term pollution problems. But organic fertilizer’s eco-friendliness is only one reason you should use the natural stuff. Read more about the benefits of organic fertilizer here and make the switch this Earth Day.
Don’t stop there. Many insecticides come in organic or hybrid-organic mixes too. Ask us about the best organic lawn and plant care products for your Massachusetts landscape.
4. Start a Compost
In addition to fertilizing, composting can also help to create a rich, nutrient-heavy turf and landscape. If you already eat organic, keep your food waste out of landfills and instead use it to make a natural fertilizer. Composting your uneaten food scraps, lawn’s leaves, sticks, debris, etc. is the best form of recycling— directly giving back to your landscape.
Think of it this nutritious compost as a soil conditioner: adding minerals, microorganisms and organic matter to your soil to help it prosper. Not only is it an environmentally-friendly way to reuse these resources, but it’s essentially free fertilizer. Curious about how to make your own DIY compost bin? We have tons of tips in our fertilization ebook, linked below. Download it today!