A Beautiful Lawn Can Also Be Healthy, Sustainable

From The Larry Meiller Show, WPR, April 25, 2014

LawnLawns can be the frame around a home or a colorful garden. To keep them looking good and thriving however, they take a fair amount of attention. That means more chemical treatments and watering than some homeowners feel comfortable using.

Doug Soldat, an associate professor of soil science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who specializes in turfgrass, said he knows that many homeowners want an even, lush lawn, but that they would also like to minimize the use of chemicals for their own sake as well as to spare Mother Nature as a whole.

“The key to reducing reliance on chemicals is maintaining a thick, dense stand of grass,” Soldat said. To do that, the most important factor to take into account is the growing environment. For many homeowners, that means sealing with a shady part of the yard, he said. “For the most part, grasses aren’t meant to grow in the shade,” he said, “So, you’re always going to be struggling there.”

So, focusing on lawn coverage in sunny areas and making other plans for groundcover in shady areas is one approach, he said.

Read the full article. Check out UW-Extension’s publications on health lawns at the Learn Store website.