Responsible Lawn Care

Asked March 3, 2019, 12:35 PM EST

Hello - what do you suggest for environmentally responsible lawn care? I’ve seen many internet posts lately arguing against the traditional approaches to keep a perfectly green lawn with a lot of fertilizers and other treatments to prevent/manage weeds so as to not add these chemicals to the environment, water run off, etc. We have a small stream downhill behind us that leads to a storm water retention pond. I see more arguments for clover lawns, natural lawns, etc. Would love to hear your thoughts and insights. Thanks!

Howard County Maryland lawns and turf plant care

1 Response

Lawns are suitable for specific situations such as playgrounds or areas that receive a high amount of foot traffic. However, many lawns go largely used, take a lot of synthetic resources to maintain, and provide little in the way of plant diversity to support pollinators when they are intensely managed (i.e., using herbicides). Take a look at our information about lawn alternatives.
http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/lawn-alternatives

We also have information on our website about organic lawn care, what it means, and the steps involved in maintaining a lawn using more environmentally sustainable practices.
http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/organic-lawn-care

Microclover can be used as a component in lawns to provide a natural source of nitrogen fertilizer. "Natural lawns" may refer to using the practices we mention on our organic lawn care page.

If after reading these pages you have additional questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

ckc