Consumer Reports offers some simple strategies to improve the health of your lawn and make it safer

May 17, 2021, 10:00 p.m.

Martha Koloski

Posted: May 17, 2021 at 10:00 p.m.

Updated: May 17, 2021, 6:38 pm

Many people are rethinking how they maintain their garden by reducing lawn chemicals and fertilizers. Consumer Reports offers some simple strategies to improve the health of your lawn and make it safer for your family and the environment.

It might seem counterintuitive, but cut down on watering your lawn. If you water less, the grass will be stimulated to form deeper roots and develop resistance to drought. And because watering at night can actually promote fungus, only water in the early morning.

And while it gets a bad rap, clover is especially good for your lawn. It adds nitrogen and keeps other weeds at bay.

When it’s time to mow, CR’s lawn care experts advise keeping the grass a little higher, about 3 or 4 inches. Keep the blades on your mower sharp and use the mulching mode which cuts the grass into fine cuts and puts them back into the ground. Grass clippings actually contain many of the same nutrients found in chemical-based fertilizers.

And CR says when it comes to planting your garden, you should embrace native plants! They are designed to thrive right where they are. And they will attract native birds, as well as beneficial insects and pollinators.

When you have enough space, add a compost heap or container to recycle table waste and garden waste. You will be rewarded with nutrient-rich compost that your plants and lawn will love.

Consumer reports remind us that lawn care will vary greatly depending on the climate, sun exposure, and soil and grass types. Therefore, reach out to a local cooperative advisory service for advice that is better tailored to your lawn. https://lacrosse.extension.wisc.edu/