Turf grass is a fixture of the American landscape. All that lawn mowing contributes to the nation’s oil consumption and pollutant emissions. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, turf grass is the nation’s largest irrigated crop, covering more than 40 million acres. Mowers consume 1.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually, about 1% of U.S. motor gasoline consumption. How can we reduce that?
- Set your mower higher (3”). Allow all grasses to grow taller in summer, during drought, and in shade.
- Stop mowing some areas. Steep slopes, wet spots, and shady areas are great candidates for planting low mow grass mixtures and wildflowers.
- If you have six to eight hours of sunlight a day, transform part of your lawn into a wildflower meadow.
- Wildflowers provide habitat for insects and other small critters like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds– providing nectar and host plants for the larval stage of certain butterflies.
- Meadows provide a way to reduce lawns that require mowing, fertilizing, and upkeep and to enjoy beautiful native flowers blooming from spring through fall.