Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Shrinking Your Lawn

A National Wildlife Federation Website Article

If you're like most homeowners who have lawns, you’ve already hauled out your mower several times this summer. And if that mower happens to be gasoline-powered, you’ve also been spewing excessive amounts of pollution into the environment. “One mower used weekly during the growing season pollutes as much as 43 late-model cars driven 12,000 miles a year,” says Sam Atwood, spokesperson for the South Coast Air Quality Management District in Southern California. “They’re little pollution factories on wheels.”

Electric mowers have been around for some time but earlier versions often were impractical because they were tethered to an extension cord. Now, several companies sell cordless mowers that run on rechargeable batteries. Push mowers are, of course, the best choice, especially if you have a small area to cut. But if switching to a different type of mower is not an option, there are some other possibilities:

• Shrink your lawn: Installing a rock garden will decrease the amount of turf in your yard. Incorporate islands of small native trees and shrubs or transform a section of your yard into a native wildflower meadow. By doing so, you’ll be creating habitat for wildlife - something a lawn doesn’t provide. A meadow requires no watering after its young plants are established. It needs mowing only once a year.

• Use ground covers or native grasses

Read the entire article.

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