7. Chemically addicted neighbors
Who wants their chemical-free lawn that’s safe for kids and grandkids contaminated by pesticide drift or fertilizer runoff from the yard down the street? Talk to your neighbors and ask them not to spray pesticides in areas that border your lawn. If you live in a rural area, talk to local authorities about not spraying along your property when they clear brush from roadways (offer to cut back the brush yourself, and post “no spray” signs, in case roadworkers forget).
If fertilizer runoff is a concern, Harriet Behar, organic specialist from the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, recommends digging a ditch between your yard and the offending neighbor’s. You just need a shallow ditch—about a foot wide and six inches deep—she says, lined with woven landscape cloth (black plastic garden tarps won’t work because water needs to be able to drain through) and filled with gravel. You can use decorative gravel if you’re worried the ditch may be unsightly.
This article originally appeared on Rodale.com.