How to use lawn mowers to fight weed infestations
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Mower users may have to rethink their strategy as lawns in the U.S. become more polluted with bacteria.
A new study says that while some people use the lawn mower to remove weed, a lot of people are using it to combat the growth of weed.
“Mowing is probably the most effective way to control weeds in lawns,” said study author Chris Bunn, a professor of environmental health at Penn State.
“It’s actually the most common way to reduce weed density, and there are several other methods that have been shown to reduce it.”
Bunn’s study was published online April 3 in the Journal of Environmental Health.
He says that some people are even using the lawnmower to eradicate their lawn.
“Some people are going to spray the lawn with the lawn spray,” Bunn said.
“I think the most important thing is to be very cautious about the impact.”
Bunning says it’s important to look at the environmental impacts of lawnmowers.
“The lawnmowing is one of the most efficient methods to reduce lawn weeds, but it’s also one of those things that’s highly regulated and very difficult to use effectively,” he said.
In other words, people need to be mindful of what the results of their actions are.
“People are using these things to spray their lawns, they’re doing a little bit of a lot,” Bunning said.
Bunn and his colleagues looked at data from the U,S.
Environmental Protection Agency, which analyzed lawn mowing data from 1999 to 2013.
They found that lawn mowings actually reduced the amount of weed on lawns by 4 percent.
“We think that there is probably some environmental cost to that use of the lawn,” Bunnan said.
One reason for that might be that mowing is so environmentally destructive.
“If you use a mower on a lawn that’s not going to grow any weed, it’s actually a very poor use of your time and energy,” he explained.
That’s because the mower could destroy other things on the lawn.
For example, the mowing could kill plants that aren’t essential for the lawn, such as native plants.
Bunning and his co-authors suggest that if people don’t care about the environmental cost of their lawnmowings, they could try a different approach to mowing.
“One of the things that people don, and it’s not always obvious to people, is that there’s a very important role that grass is playing in the ecosystem,” Buns said.
The authors say it’s possible to reduce the environmental impact of lawn mows by using a different type of herbicide, or by using smaller lawns that are not full of weeds.
“There’s also the possibility of using a mulch or a composting program on the soil,” BUNN said.
Researchers also say that they need to think about how to balance the ecological and human health effects of using lawnmows.
For instance, it can be difficult to tell whether mowing will actually reduce weed growth.
“So, to be able to tell the difference between reducing weeds versus not reducing weeds, it really has to be weighed up,” Bunks said.
And to really determine the environmental costs of the weed control methods, the researchers plan to look into what happens to plants that are growing on the mowed lawn.
If weed is already growing on a field, the scientists say it could be a problem.
“Because the mow is still going on, there is going to be some sort of a soil moisture change, and that can make it more difficult for weeds to survive,” Bunchan said.
That could mean fewer plants and fewer beneficial insects for the grass.
But in the end, there’s really no downside to using the mowers for weed control.
“This is a really effective way of doing it,” Bunk said.
Mower users may have to rethink their strategy as lawns in the U.S. become more polluted with bacteria.A new study…