“We have always done it this way”
We all have lawns, right? In front of houses and apartment buildings and public structures. But why? Do we really need to have manicured lawns? And why is it necessary to remove every single dandelion that pops up in the lawn? Is grass good? Are dandelions bad, evil plant creatures that must be stamped out as soon as they pop out of the ground? Should we eradicate them with the most powerful chemical weapons that we can find? And what about leaves? Must they be removed from the lawn, placed in plastic bags at the curb, and taken away by the garbage trucks? Is our suburban dream a good thing?
One long standing belief is that a well-irrigated green lawn that is completely free of weeds is a thing of beauty. Indeed, in many communities, that lawn is a requirement. If you have tall plants, instead of short grass, in your front yard, you could be subject to fines. Are those laws necessary?
“We have always done it this way.”
How about if we did it a different way? How about resetting our concept of beauty? Could plants that attract pollinators be things of beauty? Can a little bit of disorder be seen as beautiful? And less work? Instead of grass, how about ground cover? You could replace your lawn with short, flowering ground cover, such as Allegheny pachysandra, which is especially good for shaded yards. Other alternatives to turf grass would include moss, sedge, chamomile, and clover. Your lawn will attract pollinators, and you can skip those lawnmowing sessions. Also, native plants are hardier than grass. They are an important part of a healthy ecosystem. And, not only do they attract pollinators, they also attract birds. If you like bird watching, you can do it right at home!
Oh, and, for sure, give another look to dandelions. They and clover attract honeybees and other pollinators. And that’s a good thing!
As you’re planning for your lawn care for this season and next, think of the pollinators. And think about life after the lawn.
“Let’s do things differently!”