The grass in Boulder's parks, including our award-winning athletic fields, is free of herbicides, insecticides and fungicides, making them safe and healthy places for you, your family and your pets to enjoy. Boulder's staff focuses on building healthy soils and using methods that you can use in your own yard.
Boulder is known for its setting and surrounding natural beauty. Many residents take pride in their homes and their yards. Why should we all practice natural lawn care and avoid common yard products? These products can affect the health of our children , our pets and run off our yards, into the storm water system and end up in our creeks. The city has found, not only neocnicotinoids that are associated with the decline of bees and used in many turf grass products, but 2,4-D a common ingredient in weed and feed and commercial turf products was found throughout the creek system where it can harm aquatic ecosystems.
Natural lawn care is simple and cost-effective.
Use these simple tips to create a beautiful lawn that is safe for your children, pets and the environment. But it requires thinking differently. Instead of reaching for a product, focus on building living soil, which will grow strong, healthy drought- and disease-resistant grass.
- Water Deeply and Infrequently - Water deeply and infrequently to encourage deep root growth–one inch per week is ideal. You can easily measure that amount by placing a cup in your yard while watering. When your sprinkler fills it one inch deep, your watering for the week is done. Water early in the morning to minimize turf disease problems.
- Mow High - Keep your lawn mowed at three inches or higher. This will increase the root strength and naturally shade out weeds. Don’t mow your lawn unless it needs it. This creates healthy grass that can withstand drought and stay green longer.
- Use Organic Fertilizers - Commercial fertilizers easily wash away, polluting nearby lakes and streams. Many contain toxic weed killers. Choose an organic fertilizer to capture and deliver nutrients to the lawn throughout the growing season. Keep grass clippings on the lawn as they are an excellent natural fertilizer.
- Focus on Your Soil - Synthetic fertilizers are water soluble and may green up your lawn quickly, but also leave your lawn quickly and run off into the storm water system and into our creeks. They are also made from fossil fuels. Organic fertilizers are not water soluble. The only way to get them to your plants where they can do their work is by microorganisms in the soil breaking it down. Add compost and compost tea to your lawn to inoculate it with these good guys. Pesticides will harm microorganisms - another reason to avoid them. Feed your microorganisms - spray a dilute solution of molasses to give your soil a kick-start.
- Weed Naturally - Proper lawn care maintenance naturally eliminates most weeds. Avoid using pesticides, as they can harm other beneficial living things such as bees, birds and fish. The right tool makes quick work of weeding. After pulling weeds, use grass seed and soil to fill in the hole. Your lawn will be strong and healthy as a result.
Coming Soon! Information and guides for transitioning to natural lawn care.
Diversity and Native Plants Support Wildlife And Saves Water
A monoculture of bluegrass is a desert for pollinators, beneficial insects and other wildlife. Consider taking out part of your lawn and plant native wildflowers instead. They are beautiful, will bring birds and butterflies to your yard and will help to support local ecosystems. They also save water!
Learn more about programs to replace grass with native plants at ReSource Central.