Ha, Mr. X acually seems to (almost) agree with me fully about my “Leave it a Lawn” post. Somewhat unusual. To celebrate, I’ll actually “let him speak” today, because his reply has a certain humor that will be lost if I paraphrase. So, Mr. X on lawns, in his own words–
“Speaking as a standard subdivision dweller with a well-tended, good-looking lawn, I can say without reservation that lawns are, well ….. stupid. At the moment it would be difficult for me to think of a more futile, wasteful exercise than maintaining an attractive lawn. The beautiful lawn has something for everyone to hate; wasted time, wasted money, wasted water, all with a strong dose of pollution thrown in. Really, beyond weekly mowing, and possibly trimming, a lawn shouldn’t be such a resource-sucker in our lives. But yet we spend untold time, dollars, and petrochemicals trying to defeat Darwin in our backyards. We can’t be satisfied with the naturally hearty, drought resistant green things that automatically populate our yards. No, we feel the need to make weak, loser species of plants flourish on our patches of dirt. And to do this we have to supply them with copious amounts of a very precious resource (the stuff we drink), and then try to fight off regular nature with all manner of fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides. Now, I personally feel that well-engineered (to degrade rapidly) pesticides and insecticides are an important — if unfortunate — and necessary part of feeding the world. But that’s on a farm that produces a very important product, i.e., our sustenance. So, putting them on a lawn? Come on — exactly what part of humanity are we helping by making sure the Kentucky Bluegrass defeats the dreaded Chickweed? One need only look at Las Vegas — home to some of the finest lawns in the world and also a rapidly disappearing water supply — to understand the absurdity. Now, having said all that, my spouse and neighbors don’t exactly share my views — the Bluegrass must triumph — so a middle ground is necessary that keeps me married and not booted out of the neighborhood. So here’s what I do — skip all pesticides, they just kill the earthworms and don’t help the lawn in any way that I can tell. Don’t bag the grass — wastes time and effort and the lawn is better with it. For fertilizer, I sparingly apply dried, bagged wastewater treatment biosolids (dried bacteria/sludge). Admittedly, it doesn’t work quite as well as the engineered petroleum-based fertilizers, but it works well enough. And I don’t water — even the wussy Bluegrass seems to have a good dormant/regrowth cycle. Now, the interesting thing is that my closest neighbors seem to be following us — we have a decent-looking lawn without constantly spraying it with something (water or chemicals) and we don’t bag, so I see more of that around us. But we’re still a long way from accepting a “weed lawn.” Gotta start somewhere. Just say “no” (slowly) to lawns.” -Mr. X.
So, I have to say that I like the part about the neighbors following suit; changing cultural expectations is on my “to blog” list.
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