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Eco Friendly Advice for Healthy Lawns and Greenscapes

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Lush beautiful lawns are a part of summer, but they require time and money. The average lawn requires up to 40 hours of work and costs about $700 each year to maintain. But did you know that your yard and how you take care of it can help the environment?

 

A thick full lawn reduces soil erosion, filters contaminants from rainwater and absorbs airborne pollutants like dust and soot. Grass is also great at converting carbon dioxide to oxygen. The following are tips suggested by the EPA to help homeowners have yards that are beautiful and environmentally friendly.

 

· To keep your lawn looking its best set your mower height to 2½ to 3 ½ inches. Longer grass has more leaf surface which enables the grass to take in more sunlight and develop a deeper root system, making your lawn more drought and insect resistant. Longer grass also helps soil retain moisture and cuts down on the need to water. Mow often, but never cut more than a third of the length.

 

· According to a 2004 survey by the National Gardening Association, 66 million U.S. households used chemical pesticides and/or fertilizers on their lawns and gardens. But leaving grass clippings on your yard can reduce the need for these products. Grass clippings are about 90% water, will decompose quickly and provide nourishment back to the soil. They save landfill space too. Between 20 and 40 percent of landfill space is taken up by yard waste. Landfills produce methane gas which contributes to climate change.

 

· Keeping your yard healthy requires good preventative care, starting with the soil. Lawns grow best in an intermediate soil that is a mix of clay, sand and silt. You can always improve the quality of any type of soil by fertilizing. Instead of chemicals, add organic matter like compost, manure or grass clippings to the soil for nourishment. If your soil is hard, compacted or has a heavy clay presence, you may want to loosen or aerate the soil to allow water and nutrients to reach the grass and plant root systems.

 

· Consider reducing the size of your lawn by Greenscaping. Greenscaping makes use of native plant species as ground cover and provides a landscape that is more similar to natural habitats. Going natural can also reduce the need for chemicals, cut maintenance time and costs while still providing a beautiful yard and positive benefits for the environment.

 

· Planning your Greenscape can be creative and fun. For example, consider planting a wildflower meadow or use native perennials to provide color and ground cover near trees, patios and fences. Consider allowing part of your lawn to revert to woods (occasional management to control invasive exotic plants might be necessary until the woodland matures).

 

· Choose plants that are native to your region of the country. Your local nursery or County Agricultural Extension office can help you identify plants that will flourish in your area. Native plants require far less fertilization and are more resistant to insects, reducing the need for pesticides.

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Guest Human_*

Let it be noted; Executive Order 13423 signed By George Bush Jr.

 

Now you know what would really be interesting? If a reporter would ask the President "During a news conference", if he was in full agreement with 13423?

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Guest LAW_*

On January 24th, 2007, President George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13423, “Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management.” The order sets goals in the areas of energy efficiency, acquisition, renewable energy, toxics reductions, recycling, renewable energy, sustainable buildings, electronics stewardship, fleets, and water conservation. In addition the order requires more widespread use of Environmental Management Systems as the framework in which to manage and continually improve these sustainable practices.

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Guest Human_*

Barack Obama energy policy is predicated on that directive.

 

To solely base ones energy policy on that directive IS premature. It shows a complete LACK of understanding of the United States Energy needs, by Barack Obama and his staff, as well as the democrat party.

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On January 24th, 2007, President George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13423, “Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management.” The order sets goals in the areas of energy efficiency, acquisition, renewable energy, toxics reductions, recycling, renewable energy, sustainable buildings, electronics stewardship, fleets, and water conservation. In addition the order requires more widespread use of Environmental Management Systems as the framework in which to manage and continually improve these sustainable practices.

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Barack Obama energy policy is predicated on that directive.

 

To solely base ones energy policy on that directive IS premature. It shows a complete LACK of understanding of the United States Energy needs, by Barack Obama and his staff, as well as the democrat party.

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Those are great tips. Compost piles are great as well. All lawn waste can be put in as well as from the kitchen, as long as there is not animal by products in it. The nutrients in it can help cut down on the need for fertilizers as well.

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Guest human_*

Okay, now for fun; If you want to use a natural fertilizer, then my pick would be worm castings.

 

Now if I can keep the dear away from eating the vegetables? Then we will be really typing in here. lol

 

Thinking this year, blue berries, and black berries.

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Those are great tips. Compost piles are great as well. All lawn waste can be put in as well as from the kitchen, as long as there is not animal by products in it. The nutrients in it can help cut down on the need for fertilizers as well.

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I find planting Marigolds helps keep the deer away. Otherwise, think about putting an eight foot fence around your garden.

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