Cultural practices affect plant health, maintenance costs, and water use.
Below are Ruellia shrubs; left, regular shearing – right, infrequent pruning.
Plants are survivors; often struggling to survive in spite of how we care for them. Quality landscape management respects the yearly life cycle of plants and advocates “do-no-harm”. Plants have differing cultural needs and should be pruned infrequently. How your plants are cared for affects plant health and water requirements. Use dwarf or petite plants rather than larger plants that need constant pruning; the right plant in the right place. Allowing plants to attain and remain their natural shape (no regular shearing) will improve their health and vitality while requiring less water.
Turf-grass mowing height and frequency as well as de-thatching (verticutting) and core aerating affect health and water requirements for lawns. When only mowing once a week, strive for higher mowing heights of two inches or more. Mowing higher will encourage deeper roots and less water use; while improving plant health by removing a shorter cut of no more than a third of the leaf length.
“Of all the mowers, a properly adjusted cylinder mower makes the cleanest cut of the grass, and this allows the grass to heal more quickly. The cut of a well-adjusted cylinder mower is straight and definite, as if cut with a pair of scissors. This clean cut promotes healthier, thicker and more resilient lawn growth that is more resistant to disease, weeds and parasites. Lawn cut with a cylinder mower is less likely to result in yellow, white or brown discolouration as a result of leaf shredding. While the cutting action is often likened to that of scissors, it is not necessary for the blades of the spinning cylinder to contact the horizontal cutting bar. If the gap between the blades is less than the thickness of the grass, a clean cut can still be made. If more however, the grass will slip through. Reel mowers also have more difficulty mowing over uneven terrain.”
Properly controlling water delivery to your landscape can positively affect (slow down) growth rates. Reducing maintenance costs and lowering green waste delivered to landfills. With the added bonus of healthier plants.
Reviewing your maintenance contract for proper Cultural Practices may benefit your landscape’s health, while reducing water use on your property.
Gasoline Powered Mowers – Environmental Impact
“A 2001 study showed that some mowers produce the same amount of pollution (emissions other than carbon dioxide) in one hour as driving a 1992 model vehicle for 650 miles (1,050 km). Another estimate puts the amount of pollution from a lawn mower at four times the amount from a car, per hour, although this report is no longer available.
Beginning in 2011, the United States Environmental Protection Agency set standards for lawn equipment emissions and expects a reduction of at least 35 percent.
Mowers also create significant noise pollution, and could cause hearing loss if used without hearing protection. This can be avoided through the use of reel mowers or by using cheap, easily obtainable hearing protection such as earplugs or earmuffs.”