Some Easy Ways to Cut Down on Lawn Fertilizing

By ecoRI News staff

Here are some environmentally friendly lawn-care tips for both professionals and amateurs courtesy of the town of Charlestown's Recommended Landscape Process:

Spread less than 2 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet annually, and use a non-water soluble or slow-release nitrogen fertilizer.

No fertilizer application in buffer zones of ponds, and don’t use near roadways and driveways, to minimize runoff pollution.

Maintain a vegetative buffer between lawns and water bodies.

Cut lawns at 3 inches, or the highest number on the lawn-mower deck to reduce weeds, as higher grass means a cooler ground so weeds don’t germinate. Not picking up the grass clippings is the equivalent of spreading a half-pound of nitrogen fertilizer.

Crisscross or diagonal mow to avoid stressing or compacting the grass.

Minimize watering to an inch per week.

Do lawn aeration, coring, and dethatching in the fall, and do slice seeding — over seeding — in the late summer or early fall. Over seeding thickens and creates a healthy lawn and minimizes the use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides.

Plant drought- and pest-resistant grasses.