Letter: Don’t over-water, don’t over-cut and don’t over-fertilize

Posted 6/10/21

To the editor:

The Barrington Conservation Commission, in cooperation with the Energy and Resilience Committee would like to remind residents that properly managed lawns can sequester carbon in …

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Letter: Don’t over-water, don’t over-cut and don’t over-fertilize

Posted

To the editor:

The Barrington Conservation Commission, in cooperation with the Energy and Resilience Committee would like to remind residents that properly managed lawns can sequester carbon in much the same way a forest does, however on a much smaller scale. So what can we do to encourage this? Don’t over-water, don’t over-cut and don’t over-fertilize is a start. Put simply, grass absorbs carbon through its leaves and neutralizes it through its roots. Overwatering, fertilizing and overcutting discourage growth of deep roots. If you choose to water your lawn, 1-inch of water once a week is sufficient. If you choose to fertilize, slow-release organic fertilizer should only be applied once a year in the fall and grass should be allowed to grow at least 3” in a lawn, more of a shag rug than a cut-pile carpet. Rather than fertilizing, leave your grass cuttings on the lawn which will break down and return nutrients back to your soil and save you the trouble of bagging the clippings. Further, allowing other diverse species to grow within your yard is also healthier for the insects, birds, animals and humans too. Consider alternative ground covers or increase the area in your yard devoted to trees and shrubs.

Given that lawn equipment now accounts for a disproportionate amount of toxic air emissions in the US each year (which contribute to an increasing number of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases), in addition to putting out over 100 decibels of penetrating low frequency noise, we encourage the use of electric alternative lawn equipment. Not only is it now readily available, but it is cheaper, cleaner, lighter, has less maintenance, all with lower noise and zero emissions. If you contract your lawn care, please consider hiring a professional who uses such equipment; It will be healthier, not just for you and those working with it on a daily basis, but also for our environment.

So, this summer do all of us and the environment a favor and please consider what our lawns are truly costing us and switch to more sustainable practices.

Rick McBride, Ted Myatt, Doug Materne, Joseph Roberts, David Boyes, Eileen Small and Jorie Allen

Members of the Barrington Conservation Commission

Hans Scholl

Barrington Energy and Resilience Committee member

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