Friday, August 15, 2008

Reducing Utilities in the Lawn

The lawn is an area that has potential in most areas for helping reduce overall utility cost. Most lawns are high maintenance, requiring frequent watering, fertilizing and mowing. Everyone loves a plush, thick lawn with colorful landscaping. This doesn’t have to be given up with some planning.

Proper planning can help reduce fuel or electric cost to mow, edge and trim lawns. Lawn mowers are some of the most inefficient consumers of gasoline. In many areas lawns need to be mowed every 7-10 days. There are sod options that can reduce this mowing to monthly or even less. One such sod option is Zoysia grass. Zoysia is a very hearty grass that creeps (it spreads horizontally). Zoysia can be grown in most areas and is very drought resistant, high traffic tolerant and low maintenance.

Drought resistant plants should also be considered. For most people on municipal water, for every gallon of water used, they are also being charged a sewer fee. So in addition to watering the plants, you are paying for sewer which you didn’t use. There are many drought resistant plants available. Your local nursery may have a limited selection of these plants but there are many online options. In fact, many western states are already requiring the use of drought resistant, low water plants and lawn.

One way to help with your lawn is by using organic lawn care products and organic fertilizers. When your soil looses organic matter it can become compacted and dead. Organic lawn products can revive and loosen the soil and make it easier for your plants to grow. A properly planned lawn can use up to 70% less water than an ordinary lawn.

Don’t overlook proper planning in your lawn to help reduce fuel, water and sewer cost.

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