- The Sustainable Landscaping Team
- Healthy Grass
- Field Samples
WELCOME TO THE SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE PROJECT!
We are a student run project, funded through the NAU Green Fund. Our team is striving to help make the NAU campus better for you, the students, by eliminating the health risks associated with herbicides and helping to conserve and protect the environment through the use of more sustainable methods of lawn care. In addition, we also hope to save the Grounds Department time and money.
To achieve our desired results, we have developed a plan involving the comparison of sustainable lawn care methods to NAUâ€™s current methods of landscape maintenance. Test plots have been designated around campus that will be maintained using native grass seeds and non-harmful methods for removing weeds, such as hand tools and the application of corn gluten meal as a pre-emergent. These plots will be compared to designated control plots, currently maintained with the Grounds Departmentâ€™s standard procedures.
What the team looks for on each site (control and test):
- Overall grass health / appearance / density
- Test for soil health
- Weed types and abundance
Each test plot has its own treatment, which will be studied to determine the effect on overall grass health, turf coverage, soil health, weed control, and aesthetic appearance. Treatments can include overseeding with native grasses, such as Blue grama grass (Bouteloua gracilis), or with highly-adapted non-invasive turf mixes, such as Low-work, Low-water (from High Country Gardens, NM). Other treatments may include the application of corn
gluten meal as a chemical-free, plant-based pre-emergent herbicide and organic/natural soil supplements. Test plots will be kept as weed-free as possible through the use of a variety of hand weeding tools, which we will be testing for effectiveness and ease-of-use. The goal of using a variety of treatments is to discover the simplest yet most effective way to have a beautiful, sustainable, chemical-free lawn.