Jan 02

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Are Perfect Lawns Really Needed?

Are Perfect Lawns Really Needed? Maybe the question should be why have lawns at all? This may be a bit of a touchy subject considering the amount of manpower, money, and other resources just the average homeowner puts into trying to maintain the dark green patch around their homes. Actually until the last half of the 18th century there was really no grass out side the average home front door in the United States was either a cottage garden or just packed earth.

The golf industry is probably responsible for the development of grasses for lawns in 1915 they in corroboration with the US Department Of Agriculture set about testing grasses from around the world and trying to develop a grass blend which would be suitable for the different climates and growing conditions across the country. The golf industry has contributed more in research, money, and knowledge than any other group in the development of turf grass as we know it today.

This started the quest for the perfect lawn. As grass seed was not starting to be available at a reasonable price it became a lot easier for the average home owner to afford and now has evolved into the groundcover of choice in most American homes. I think that now is a good time to point out that along with turf grass came a lot of other items. There were pests and diseases that attack the turf grass. So the chemical engineers got together and developed poisons to get rid or control those problems. Turf grass requires a lot of food so inorganic fertilizer were developed that are applied by the ton to lawns all across the country. Some of these products have proven to be very bad for humans and domestic animals . Along with turf grass came the need for water and lots of it to keep the lawn healthy and green. All this watering along with rainfall cause a great deal of these chemicals used to grow the grass getting leached from the soil and back into ground water contaminating it and that is eventually going to be going back into our homes from drinking water.

Because of the need that has been created to have the perfect lawns we need to be sure that it is cut and trimmed to look just right. That in and off it’s self has created more problems than just trying to get the lawnmower started. Every week millions of lawnmowers are used to maintain this vast acreage of turf grass and co2 is being released into the atmosphere from the gas engines. If you stop and think about the amount of pollution and damage have a nice lawn causes does it really make sense.

We have not even touched on the issues of time involved in maintaining the lawn nor the economic costs. Just think about this and remember all this for something that didn’t even exist in this country a little more than a hundred years ago. Maybe it is time for us to sit down and take stock of what having a green lawn really cost us. Maybe it is time to consider alternatives . Remember it is our neighborhood, our country, our planet and we all should try to make it a better place to live. By eliminating turf grass and replacing theses lawns with native plantsings maybe we can start to undo some of the damage to the earth and repair part of what we have done.

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About the author

Glenn Bronner

Glenn Bronner is a professional groundskeeper with over 45 years of horticultural experience. Glenn is a published author of hundreds of articles on gardening and gardening related subjects.
Glenn gardens in zone 5 in the Chicagoland area.

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