April Showers Bring May Flowers

Spring has finally arrived!  Birds are chirping, the grass is turning green and thunderstorms can be seen rolling in from the West. If you are like many across the US who endured a long and cold winter, these signs of spring are a welcomed relief.  With April being National Lawn & Garden month, there is no better time to get outside, enjoy the weather, and do a little work around the yard!

Getting your lawn ready for summer may take a little work after a long winter.  Natural lawn care and water conservation is a big priority to many people.  First, you must choose the right variety of grass to use based on your location.  In the Midwest, most homeowners choose a “cool-season” variety because it can adapt to both cool and humid weather.  Second, mowing height can be crucial in having that perfect yard you have always dreamed of.  Be sure you are mowing at the correct height, usually 2-3 inches, although in the hotter months it’s better to leave it a little longer.  Third, leaving your grass clippings on the lawn allows you to recycle nutrients back into the soil and is also a great and free fertilizer.  Nitrogen fertilizer is necessary for the health and quality of grass but many homeowners apply too much.  This not only causes the nitrogen to be used inefficiently, it also increases the amount of water the grass needs.  Reducing nitrogen use to the recommended amount allows you to reduce the amount of water needed after fertilization.  This could potentially save you up to 9,000 gallons of water per year!*  Finally, after you have that perfect lawn, it’s time to add a little variety to your yard.  A great way to do that is with a sustainable garden!

Sustainable gardens come in all shapes and sizes which make them easily adaptable to any area you have available.  Growing your own food is a big step towards a sustainable lifestyle and it is easier than you think!  Reusing and recycling materials in your garden such as fallen tree limbs as trellises, using livestock manure for fertilizer, and donating your extra produce to local families are all steps toward being sustainable.

Praedium is here to help you with any and all of your sustainability needs.  Please contact us at 515-362-7555 or knowledge@praediumventures.com to learn about custom sustainability plans and how you can implement one along with your current practices.

*Based on average residential lawn size of 0.2 acres (source: Homziak, J., personal communication, March 9, 2010).