Lakeshore property owners can still enjoy a lawn. Ideally lawns should be buffered at the water's edge by native shoreline plantings. You can shrink the size of the lawn, especially in hard-to-grow areas and thereby reduce your maintenance and the potential impact on the health of the lake.
Five Steps to Natural Lawn Care
Mow high, let it lie: Leave pulverized clippings on the lawn using a mulch mower or a mulching attachment. Grass is comprised mostly of water and nitrogen. So when you "grasscycle" you are watering and feeding your lawn each time you mow.
Reduce pesticide use: Pesticides can damage your lawn, and they can run off into the lake. Instead of applying pesticides over your entire lawn, try spot spraying either with less toxic clove oil sprays, vinegar or boiling water.
Using organic fertilizer: Organic fertilizers work with the microbes in the soil to make available minerals that are already in the soil but just not in a form that is available for plants to use.
Water deeply, but infrequently: Avoid frequent shallow watering which leads to shallow rooting and disease. The rule of thumb is to water about one inch per week. You can test your irrigation system by spreading one-inch-deep tuna or cat food cans around the yard. See how long it takes to fill up the cans, then adjust your watering times accordingly.
Consider alternatives to lawn: There are many attractive ground covers that might prove more suitable and eco-friendly near the lakeshore. Consider native plants that will not only reduce your maintenance, but provide fish with a source of food and cover from predators.