Ohio State University Extension https://ohiowatersheds.osu.edu

Ohio Watershed Network

Ohio State University Extension

Low-impact Lawn Care

Many of the landowners we spoke with were concerned with lowering the impact their lawn care had on the stream and the environment in general while still maintaing a nice looking lawn.  Low-impact lawn care utilizes practices like soil testing, water conservation, careful cultural practices and limiated use of fertilizers and pesticides.  The major principles of this approach are to build a healthy soil and use simple steps such as soil testing.

 

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Photo credit: http://www.roomu.net/files/user10/roomimage/perennials-2.jpg

Advantages

Low-impact lawn care strategies reduce environmental impacts associated with widely used yard maintenance practices, and promote healthier lawns while reducing the amount of chemicals, water, time, and labor invested to keep lawns looking lush, well-maintained, and attractive for native wildlife.

Costs

In addition to the direct costs of plant material and time to establish plants, low-impact lawns require practices that might seem nontraditional lawn care to homeowners including: soil-testing, careful cultural practices, limited use of fertilizer and pesticides.

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Earthworms or earthworm castings are an excellent indicator of soil health.

Photo Source: http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G6749

Next Steps

Ohioline and University of Missouri Extension - Natural Lawn Care explain how to get started and continue using sustainable management practices, how to reduce use of synthetic lawn products, and how to provide care that will ensure long-term life and health of your lawn. The U.S. EPA also provides a variety of short videos about healthy lawn care practices.

Ohioline has fact sheets that will help you maintain your lawn and protect the environment including ?What to Look for In a Lawn Care Service? (HYG 4025-88) and ?Natural Organic Lawn Care for Ohio? (HYG 4031-04) and Soil Quality Test Kit (SAG-4-08).

University of Missouri Extension - Natural Lawn Care is web site that addresses basic steps such as measuring the size of your lawn and how to reduce use of synthetic lawn products.

 

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Photo credit: http://www.naturallawncarecda.com/

 

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Photo credit: http://www.greenbrothersaustin.com

Resources

Friends of the Lower Olentangy describes a number of practices streamside landowners can use to protect the environment and promote wildlife including native planting, rain barrels, and rain gardens.

REDUCING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS IN URBAN AREAS THROUGH RESIDENTIAL NON-POINT SOURCE POLLUTION REDUCTION STRATEGIES AND BACKYARD CONSERVATION PRACTICES

http://fsw.inkspeck.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/byard_cons_hndbk.pdf

References
University of Missouri Extension Natural Lawn Care

http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G6749