Many homeowners are rethinking the way they take care of their lawns and taking steps to reduce the environmental impact of the products they use and the things they do to get great looking lawns. Between the water that’s consumed by lawns and the toxic chemicals that are getting into the water supply and wreaking havoc on wildlife, not to mention the health risks that can come from many common lawn products, it’s not surprising that homeowners are looking for more eco-friendly lawn care options.
Although many lawn care services claim to be “green,” the fact is that not all of them are doing everything they can to ensure that they aren’t doing more harm than good with their methods. To be sure that you are hiring the most eco-friendly lawn service possible, ask the following questions when selecting a Riverside lawn mowing service.
What Type of Products Do You Use?
This is probably the most important question to ask because lawn products are the biggest contributor to toxicity when it comes to lawn care. The most eco-friendly lawn services only use products that are 100 percent natural and organic, such as neem or cedar oils to ward off pests. Ask to see the material data safety sheets for all of the products that the company plans to use on your lawn to evaluate the ingredients for yourself and be sure that the service agreement stipulates that the lawn service will only use the products you approve.
When discussing products with the lawn service, there are some red flags to watch for. When all-natural and organic products are used, you should be able to walk on the lawn right away, without any waiting. If you are told that you need to let the treatments dry or that you need to keep kids and pets off the grass for any amount of time, then the treatment isn’t non-toxic. You should also be wary of lawn services that promise a completely weed-free or pest-free lawn. Not only is that claim virtually impossible even with the use of chemicals, it’s highly unlikely that it will happen with a more natural approach.
How Will You Deal Weeds?
Understanding that an entirely weed-free lawn is probably not going to happen, you should still reasonably expect that your lawn service will ensure that the entire lawn isn’t taken over by weeds and that they will take steps to keep them from taking hold. Among the eco-friendly solutions that they might recommend include:
- Mowing the grass regularly at the appropriate height to inhibit weed growth
- Aerating the lawn to support healthy grass growth
- Ensuring the soil is healthy and nutrient rich by using organic fertilizers
- Addressing only problem areas, rather than the entire lawn
- Recommending an effective watering schedule
In short, a truly eco-friendly lawn service will develop a natural, yet still effective, approach to handling weeds and other problems.
What Are Your Other Green Initiatives?
Operating as a “green” lawn service means more than just using natural products and avoiding toxic chemicals. Being environmentally friendly encompasses a wide range of practices, including using tools and equipment that use less energy and have fewer emissions; engaging in practices like leaving grass clipping on the lawn to break down and serve as natural fertilizers; choosing the most appropriate types of grass for the local climate; making recommendations in terms of landscaping to ensure healthy habitats for animals and insects and keeping harmful chemicals out of the water supply.
Many environmentally conscious lawn services opt to use electric or battery-operated equipment to cut down on their fossil fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions, given that the typical riding mower can emit the same amount of pollution in one hour as 34 cars. Ask your lawn service about the tools they use and the steps they are taking to reduce their own carbon footprints.
It’s more than possible to maintain a beautiful, healthy, green lawn without having a negative impact on the environment. By doing your homework and looking for a lawn service that is truly eco-friendly, you can do your part to protect the planet while still enjoying your yard.