Maintaining your lawn and landscape and protecting them from pests and disease provides more benefits than just aesthetic value. Landscape conservation, pest control, disease prevention and lawn maintenance are beneficial to your household financially and aesthetically, but they also provide ecological benefits to your local community and region as well as for wildlife populations. It seems there is a type of “herd immunity” phenomenon displayed within the community when more people adequately care for their properties; pest populations appear to decrease annually, water can be conserved on a larger scale, stormwater may be more easily mitigated and more pollinators may be attracted to the area.
Proper mowing techniques and frequency will set your lawn up for success, beauty and ecological benefits. A general rule of thumb states that no more than one third of the total blade surface during mowing, this leaves enough surface area to continue efficiently performing photosynthesis and support root development. During rapid growth periods this would require more frequent mowing, but allowing more growth between mowings only affects aesthetic appeal, so it is a judgement call, the other option is using higher cutting heights. Leaving clipping behind or returning them to the lawn will provide natural fertilizer as water and nitrogen is released during their rapid decomposition, only allow clippings from the current mow to remain, excessive amounts may be smothering. Contrary to popular belief this practice does not contribute to thatch production. A healthy lawn will produce a root system that will help with erosion and act as a sink for stormwater. And with your arborist’s assistance the blend of grass species selected for your lawn should be hardy and adaptable.
Maintaining the health of your landscape trees is good for the environment, the community and wildlife. Communities benefit from participation in pest control, en masse. It is a numbers game, the more people performing treatments, the less pests to damage existing vegetation. It seems to have an effect on pest populations in following years, preventative treatments provide control for the next growing season, reducing damage and stress on trees. Once pest populations are under control, trees are under less stress and are able to bloom, produce vegetative material and generate root mass. Healthy blooms attract pollinators, fruit production feeds wildlife, vegetative material removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing oxygen and roots act as natural erosion control measures. Make sure to consult with your arborist about any concerns regarding your trees and landscapes and treatments you may need and spread the good word to your neighbors and community. The benefits to having trees and keeping them healthy are boundless!