The growing emphasis many homeowners place on keeping their property pristine is reflective of many things. Though itís quite possible a reflection of the enjoyment many homeowners take from landscaping, itís more likely a refl ection of the impact
a well-manicured lawn can make on the overall value of the property.
In a study conducted by Michigan State University, a well-manicured lawn was found to increase the value of a home anywhere from 5 to 11 percent. Much of that might be due to curb appeal. A home with curb appeal is one that is appealing to the naked eye, meaning prospective buyers already have a good first impression before even stepping foot inside the home. A home with great curb appeal will attract more prospective buyers, likely adding the amount homeowners can add to their asking price.
As the popularity of landscaping has grown, so, too, has the popularity of responsible landscaping. More and more homeowners are not only spending their weekends caring for their lawns, but doing so in a way thatís benefi cial to the environment. For those hoping to follow suit, consider the following tips.
ē REMEMBER SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS THE SEEDS CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE.
Oftentimes, the region of the country will dictate which choice of grass seed is best for a given lawn. Thatís because a grass thatís suited to a particular area will require less maintenance, which means less water and less reliance on substances to prevent or fi x problems. Using less water is environmentally friendly, as is using less chemicals to solve problems related to the lawn. Consult with your local nursery or garden center for the types of grass seed best suited for your region.
ē ORGANIC DIETS CAN BENEFIT THE LAWN, TOO.
Many people prefer organic foods these days because of their taste and their smaller carbon footprint than processed and preserved foods. But organics arenít just good for humans, theyíre good for lawns as well. Instead of chemical-based foods and fertilizers, consider an all-natural diet for your lawn. Compost heaps can generate important nutrients for your lawn and plants and can be created simply from lawn clippings, raked leaves and the uneaten scraps from your kitchen ó like fruit rinds, eggshells and leftover coffee grounds.
ē INSTALL AN IRRIGATION SYSTEM.
While soaking a lawn with water might seem good for the grass, chances are itís not very good for the environment. An underground irrigation system, however, is designed to water lawns and plants at the root level, strengthening the grass and
plants and saving some water in the meantime. Many systems are timer-operated and water in the early morning or early evening
hours when the water will have maximum potential to benefit the lawn. These timer systems also make it possible for busy homeowners to maintain their lawns without making a major time commitment.
ē REDUCE RELIANCE ON PESTICIDES.
While pesticides are necessary in certain instances, homeowners can reduce their reliance on pesticides and save some in so doing. Some insects are too pesky and could be a great threat to a lawn, but itís important homeowners donít overlook the
many benefi ts insects and animals can provide. Worms, birds, butterfl ies, and some beetles can consume harmful ďbugsĒ like aphids, mites and other leaf eaters. Bats are even good to have around, as bats often prey on biting fl ies, gnats and mosquitoes, pests that can make outdoor entertaining a nightmare.
ē KEEP THE GRASS CUT AT A PROPER LEVEL.
While Junior might want to cut the grass as close as possible to reduce the amount of times he has to push the mower around the yard, cutting too low is potentially very harmful to the grass. Thatís because grass thatís cut too short is increasingly susceptible to disease, insects and drought.