Are you looking for a way to reduce the need for pesticide use in your yard? Keeping your lawn strong and healthy is a great place to start. Pesticides (which includes insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides) are designed to kill weeds, insects, pests, and diseases that damage lawns. There are a few easy steps you can take to maintain a healthy lawn and reduce the need for pesticides.
Steps to Reducing Pesticide Use In Your Lawn
Leave grass clippings on your lawn
Test your soil
Test your soil to find out exactly what it needs to stay strong and healthy. The soil under your lawn feeds your grass, shrubs and trees. Over time, important nutrients become depleted, affecting the health of your grass and other plants. By obtaining a reliable soil test every few years you can monitor your lawn’s nutrients and add only what is needed.
The best weed control is having a dense, healthy lawn so weeds have no room to thrive. If a weed invasion seems to be getting worse, consider why your lawn is not dense enough to initially crowd weeds out. Adjusting some of your other lawn care practices may help control the weeds.
If there are only a small amount of weeds, consider removing them by hand rather than using an herbicide.
Deeper, less frequent watering results in deeper roots and makes more nutrients and water available for your grass to grow and thrive. Since soil dries from the surface down, grass with deeper roots is more drought resistant. Deeper watering also helps deter many weeds, especially crabgrass.
* Read When and How Much to Water the Lawn for more information.
Use a sharp blade
Using a sharp blade when cutting your lawn will make it less susceptible to disease.
Aerate your lawn
Over time, soil becomes compacted, filling the tiny spaces where air and water usually flow. Once the soil is compacted, your grass gets less of what it needs to thrive. Aeration creates holes in your lawn, allowing air pockets to return so water, oxygen and nutrients can flow more easily through the soil to the roots of your grass. Aeration encourages deeper root systems, making your lawn hardier and less susceptible to drought, damage, disease and pests.
* Read When and How to Aerate the Lawn for more information.
Following these tips will help your lawn stay healthy and strong, reducing the need for unwanted pesticide use.