6 Eco-Friendly Lawn Care Practices to Maintain Water Quality

Spring is a busy season for many homeowners as they work on rejuvenating their lawns after the harsh winter conditions and preparing them for the upcoming summer heat. It's a time when lawns require more attention to recover from the wear and tear of the previous seasons.

For many homeowners, the allure of a lush, green lawn is undeniable, driving them to invest significant time and effort into maintenance. From regular mowing and watering to the crucial task of fertilizing, these traditional practices aim to achieve a healthy, green lawn. However, modern lawn care is evolving, with a growing emphasis on sustainable practices that not only save you time but also protect local waterways and the environment at large.

By adopting these practices, you can cultivate a beautiful lawn while reducing your environmental impact.

How Healthy Lawns Can Protect Waterways

Did you know that a healthy lawn is crucial in protecting our waterways?

When water from heavy rainfall or irrigation reaches bare soil surfaces, it can easily wash away sand, silt, clay, and organic matter. This soil erosion is particularly problematic on slopes, where the potential for soil transportation and pollution of waterways is higher.

A dense, well-maintained turf acts as a natural barrier against soil erosion. Its dense network of roots helps stabilize the soil, lowering the risks of movement and losing valuable topsoil. It also acts as a green filter, absorbing and filtering pollutants that might otherwise flow into our water systems. More than maintaining the integrity of your lawn, it protects the quality of nearby water bodies by reducing the amount of sediment and harmful pollutants that can be carried into them.


What Excess Lawn Fertilizers Do to Water

Proper lawn care management is crucial not only for maintaining a healthy lawn but also for protecting our waterways. While essential nutrients from lawn fertilizers are necessary for optimal plant health, they should be managed painstakingly to avoid applying too much fertilizer, which can degrade water quality. Excess fertilizer on lawns can wash into storm drains and flow into local waterways when it rains. This runoff, especially high in nitrogen, can contribute to harmful algae blooms in lakes and streams.

Similarly, chemical treatments such as herbicides and pesticides, used to prevent lawn weeds and pests, can also pose risks to water bodies if not applied carefully. Improper use of these products can lead to their deposition in lakes and streams when carried off with sediments. A healthy lawn can reduce reliance on these treatments and minimize the risks of over or improper application.

Sustainable Lawn Care Tips to Keep Your Grass Green

These potential risks prompt us to rethink our approach to lawn care. By embracing more sustainable practices that work harmoniously with nature, we can maintain healthy, green lawns while protecting the environment.

Fertilize Appropriately

Applying fertilizers at the right time with the proper nutrients is crucial for preventing nutrients from leaching into waterways. By following recommended application rates and timings based on the packaging or soil test results, you can ensure that the grass absorbs the nutrients effectively while lowering the risks of excess fertilizer washing away into drains and water bodies. Properly timed applications, such as avoiding fertilizing before heavy rainfall, can also help prevent nutrient runoff and protect water quality.

Use Slow-Release Lawn Fertilizer

Using slow-release fertilizers is essential for maintaining a consistent nutrient supply to the grass and reducing the risk of over-fertilizing and nutrient leaching. NutriPod® is a specialized slow-release lawn fertilizer designed specifically for newly planted grass plugs. The granules are enclosed in dissolvable pods, each placed in a planting hole before inserting a plug. As the pods dissolve, they release nutrients gradually into the root zone, where the grass can access them as needed. This slow release ensures that the grass receives nutrients over an extended period, reducing the need for frequent reapplications. The effects can last up to 45 days, providing long-lasting nourishment for your grass as it is established.

Water Deeply But Less Often

Overwatering can saturate the soil, creating conditions where nutrients are more likely to leach out and leak into waterways. Most warm-season grasses, such as Bermuda, St. Augustine, and Zoysia varieties, are drought-tolerant and perform best when watered deeply but less frequently rather than shallow, frequent watering. This practice also encourages the development of a deeper root system, which contributes to your lawn's resilience to environmental stress and damage.


Water at the Right Time

Additionally, warm-season grasses generally require about 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week, including rainfall. Adjust your watering routine based on weather conditions, grass needs, and soil type to reduce the risk of nutrient runoff from excessive watering.

Watering during the day's heat should be avoided because the high temperatures can lead to excessive water loss due to evaporation. Similarly, watering at night is not advisable as it can leave the grass wet overnight, creating a favorable environment for lawn pests and diseases to thrive. It's recommended to water early in the morning to ensure the grass has enough time to absorb the water and dry out during the night.

Mow Regularly

Regular mowing is more than about keeping your lawn neat—it's essential for its overall health. It encourages denser and deeper root growth, allowing the grass to access more water and nutrients from the soil. Additionally, this practice creates a denser turf that keeps the soil intact, reducing the risk of erosion, maintaining water quality, and protecting the environment.

Mow your lawn properly by following the one-third rule: mow frequently enough to remove no more than one-third of the grass length at a time. During the peak growing season, which for warm-season grass is in the spring and fall, you may have to mow as often as once a week to maintain the recommended height of about 2 to 2.5 inches.

Leave Grass Clippings

Leaving grass clippings on your lawn can supplement your fertilizing efforts by returning valuable nutrients to the soil. Use a mulching mower to shred the grass and allow the clippings to break down faster, acting as a compost layer that enriches your lawn. This process lowers the risk of nutrients leaching into waterways by reducing the need for additional lawn fertilizer.


Protect the Waterways With a Proper Lawn Care Routine

Focusing on proper lawn management and making even small changes to your habits can significantly affect your lawn's heath and protect waterways. Whether you use granular or liquid fertilizers or organic or synthetic fertilizers, being mindful of how you use them will make a difference.

Overall, these efforts contribute to a healthy lawn while helping prevent nutrient leaching and protect water quality. Every small change adds up, and by sustainably managing your lawn, you're playing a valuable role in water conservation.


About NutriPod®

NutriPod® is a revolutionary grass fertilizer designed to support the establishment of a new lawn from grass plugs. It is formulated to accelerate grass growth up to two times faster while increasing disease resistance and facilitating deeper root growth. Its slow-release formula gradually releases essential nutrients, ensuring your lawn receives the nourishment it needs for long-term health.

A game-changer in lawn care, NutriPod® helps grass develop strong roots and become more resilient to lawn diseases, pests, weeds, and other environmental factors.

Learn more about NutriPod® and how it can benefit your lawn by visiting our website.

The traditional methods of fertilizing plants can often be messy, inaccurate, and detrimental to the ecosystem.

Enter NutriPod®, a revolutionary solution that simplifies plant nutrition while being environmentally responsible.