10 Things You Should Never Do to Your Lawn

Don't Use Poisons
All fun and games until your lawn is sprouting dandelions like mad. palinchakjr/iStock/Thinkstock

Some experts recommend not using herbicides to kill weeds or pesticides to kill insects. These chemicals find their way into the environment, and they also restrict the movement of water in the soil. Pesticides can harm myriad insects, microorganisms and earthworms that help keep a lawn healthy. Moreover, many plants that we consider weeds are actually beneficial. Clover, for example, takes nitrogen from the atmosphere and distributes it in the soil [source: National Coalition for Pesticide-Free Lawns].

If you need to control weeds, do it in an eco-friendly manner. Mowing is essential. Cutting off the heads of dandelions before they have a chance to spread their seeds is a good form of weed abatement. If you need to use a weed killer, use a "natural" one. These nonchemical weed killers are often made from corn gluten and other nonchemical sources [source: Haiken]. One year, when my yard looked like Jurassic Park, I concocted my own weed killer made of vinegar, alcohol and dish detergent. The detergent helped the vinegar solution stick to the leaves. It worked wonderfully for a few species of weeds, but not so much on others.