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How Your Lawn Can Soak Up More Carbon

March 21, 2012

Tips To Make Your Lawn Work Harder and Soak Up More Carbon

Choose the right turf grass species.
Different types of grass are better suited for different parts of the country. Work with a professional to determine the best species for your local microclimate. Also, be sure to find the appropriate match for your specific landscape conditions such as soil type, average rainfall and sun exposure. And, buy high-quality grass seed. It will be a better investment.

Mow your lawn high to develop deep roots.
Cutting your lawn too short is a common mistake that can encourage weed growth, increase heat stress during dry or hot periods and make your lawn more susceptible to insects and disease. Set your mower blade to a height that cuts no more than the top third of the grass plant. Longer grass leaves allow for growth of a stronger root system, which not only reaches more soil moisture and nutrients, but also adds to carbon intake.

Keep your mower in good shape.
Periodically examine the mower blades for damage, and adjust the wheel height for an even cut. At the outset of each growing season, have your mower tuned up and the blades sharpened by a professional or yourself. An unsharpened mower blade can rip or tear the grass, creating a breeding ground for disease and other problems.

Leave clippings on your lawn.
Leaving grass clippings on your lawn recycles plant nutrients back into the soil. Grass clippings contain 4% nitrogen, 0.5% phosphorus and 2% potassium — the same beneficial nutrients as fertilizer. Left-over clippings can provide up to one-third of the annual feeding requirement for your lawn.

Water responsibly.
Water early in the day, between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. to ensure that the sun won’t rob moisture from your lawn and all that water reaches and stays at the roots.