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Lawns (by WMH [NC]) Jun 7, 2021 1:58 PM
       Lawns (by Robert J [CA]) Jun 7, 2021 2:50 PM
       Lawns (by 6x6 [TN]) Jun 7, 2021 2:55 PM
       Lawns (by gevans [SC]) Jun 7, 2021 3:07 PM
       Lawns (by Sisco [MO]) Jun 7, 2021 3:55 PM
       Lawns (by WMH [NC]) Jun 7, 2021 4:05 PM
       Lawns (by Vee [OH]) Jun 7, 2021 4:14 PM
       Lawns (by P.B. [MI]) Jun 7, 2021 5:14 PM
       Lawns (by WMH [NC]) Jun 7, 2021 6:06 PM
       Lawns (by Roy [AL]) Jun 7, 2021 6:39 PM
       Lawns (by 6x6 [TN]) Jun 7, 2021 7:03 PM
       Lawns (by Small potatoes [NY]) Jun 7, 2021 8:14 PM
       Lawns (by Smokowna [MD]) Jun 7, 2021 10:02 PM
       Lawns (by LindaJ [NY]) Jun 7, 2021 10:38 PM
       Lawns (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Jun 8, 2021 11:49 AM
       Lawns (by Small potatoes [NY]) Jun 8, 2021 2:35 PM

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Lawns (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2021 1:58 PM

We talk a fair amount about yards and lawn care on this Board. The hassle, the costs. Here's an interesting article about the history of American lawns. It's rather long.


But this part was interesting:

The sheer volume of resources required to keep lawns alive is staggering. And seems particularly wasteful in consideration of drought plagued places, like California. The significance of lawns persisted in the west for a long time, and was aided by water management technologies that helped transform arid landscapes into lush ones. But that is changing as well, perhaps in part due to the awareness made possible by social media. Lawns require the equivalent of 200 gallons of drinking water per person per day. Californians, who are acutely aware of this wastage, have taken to shaming (#droughtshame) neighbors who persist in watering their lawns.

We are at a moment when the American Dream, inasmuch as it still exists, is changing. The idea of homeownership is untenable or undesirable for many. While green spaces are important, a large area of green grass seems to be a lower priority for many. With a growing movement that embraces a more natural lifestyle, there is a trend toward the return of naturalized lawns that welcome flowering weeds, and subsequently support a more diverse entomological ecosystem.

Old habits die hard, however. And it is hard to also abandon this idea of a manifestation of material success, especially as it is so readily recognized as such. As of 2005, lawns covered an estimated 63,000 square miles of America. That's about the size of Texas. It's the most grown crop in the United States--and it's not one that anyone can eat; it's primary purpose is to make us look and feel good about ourselves.

Lawns (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2021 2:50 PM

I am in California, Los Angeles to be exact. Years ago the City got a list of my rentals and sent me a nasty letter, I have to do better maintaining my lawns. It's not enough that I provide each property/tenant with a weekly gardening service AND I've installed automatic sprinklers. Because my tenants of single family homes pay their own water bills, which include 100% added cost for Sewer Services even though laws and sewers don't mix -- tenants have to adjust watering costs each month.

The City will give each property a Tiered 1,2 and 3 water rates based on usage. Want to keep those lawns green? Well during cooler months the water costs for lawns runs only around $100 per month. The during hotter times, the lawns need more than triple the amount of water, BUT THE CITY WILL MOVE RATIONING SO YOU'RE AUTOMATICLY IN TIER 2 AND 3 -- paying penalties. So the monthly water rates/use for lawns jumps from $100 per month to over $400 per month. Tenants and landlords can't pay those rates.

Then after I install plush SOD new Marathon Grass, the City starts a rationing program, NO WATER FOR LAWNS PERIOD!. So my $4000-$5000 front SOD lawns with automatic sprinklers gets turned off and the lawns die!

Lawns (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2021 2:55 PM

I actually agree for the most part, however where I am, we get a lot of rain and the yards can become overgrown very quickly. This become a problem with pest and you would also not be ably to play or walk in it very well and especially when wet. So, I do keep the yard mowed and weed eat but I also do not add fertilizer or anything. I do not rake the yard as the grass clippings and a small amount of leaves are natural fertilizer. I just mulch the leaves up and leave them be. I also do not water the yard when it is a dry spell. So mostly I agree with the article.

Lawns (by gevans [SC]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2021 3:07 PM

Grass grows fast here... I use Empire Zoyzia. It's drought resistant, grows slowly, and requires half the water of centipede. But I'd rather not have lawns. Need something low maintenance but safe.

I remember sweeping my grandmother's front yard. No grass, just packed dirt.

Lawns (by Sisco [MO]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2021 3:55 PM

There is a very practical aspect of the lawn. Tall grass is a fire hazard. Tall grass attracts rodents, rodents attract snakes. No lawn = increased risk of fire, disease, and snake bite.

Lawns (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2021 4:05 PM

But what about no grass, Sisco? Hardscaping, or vegetable gardens, or flower gardens (another English thing!)

I agree in some areas, a lawn just happens - Kentucky, Tennessee, parts of NC, Virginia - very green. But it's the artificially forced lawns in places like CA, AZ that seem foolish. The parts of Florida I lived in had HORRIBLE grass, like razors.

Lawns (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2021 4:14 PM

Mix green latex paint into the cement you pour on the yard, while it is curing you can splotch out some yellow dandelions that won't turn to seed, noise conservation, clean up after bum tenants with a snow plow pushing the rusty fenders onto the trailer ramp.

Lawns (by P.B. [MI]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2021 5:14 PM

We visited my brother-in-law in a trailer park in Colorado. He worked, temporarily on the oil rigs, so he moved when the company needed him elsewhere. The mobile homes were relatively close together but the landlords had their stuff together.

The lawns were artificial turf. I am not talking expensive football-stadium turf, but good, very functional green, somewhat soft green turf. It almost looked like green indoor-outdoor carpet. It was pleasant to sit on, etc.

Absolutely no maintenance.

Just an idea that I am passing on.

Lawns (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2021 6:06 PM

To clean it up, did you sweep or vacuum it?

I'm all for artificial lawns, flowers, trees: if it makes the place look pretty and doesn't need upkeep, perfect.

Lawns (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2021 6:39 PM

I can always tell what class neighborhood I am driving through just by looking at the grass and how well kept or unkept it is.

Class A - high quality grass lawns are cut weekly and are well manicured, usually by a Pro.

Class B - grass is mowed once a week but not manicured.

Class C -grass (mostly weeds) is 6-10 inches high before it gets mowed.

Class D- some grass but more dirt with tire tracks due to vehicles parked on the front and back yard.

Class F - no grass, just dirt or a huge mud hole after it rains.

Lawns (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2021 7:03 PM

Good point Roy

Lawns (by Small potatoes [NY]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2021 8:14 PM

You can go back as far as eraserhead to see pioneering xeriscaping. The yard in one scene is river stone.

6x has it right. Leave grass clippings on the lawn (they don't create thatch) and mulch n mow --172.58.xx.xx

Lawns (by Smokowna [MD]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2021 10:02 PM

I love cutting grass but the guy who I've been relying on for the last three seasons....doesn't seem to enjoy it.

This year I'm back on the mowers.

I cut the lawns at 3". Never adding seed or chemicals.

There was a lady who used gravel and ground cover in her yard. It was amazing. The gravel turns a darker color after some time. This lady used mulch around some plants and the ground cover plants really looked cool.

However, I believe it was a lot of hands on work

so I stick to my large fast lawn mowers. A few years ago I figured it cost me $2.50 to cut a lawn.

Lawns (by LindaJ [NY]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2021 10:38 PM

If is survives getting cut and stays green, it is my lawn. We did plant some clover in it when we built the house years ago. But then, we live in the country so we just cut it when needed. --71.164.xx.xx

Lawns (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Jun 8, 2021 11:49 AM

Nobody mentions that plants absorb carbon from the air. They just talk about how bad lawns are and how bad people are for owning automobiles that produce carbon.

Lawns (by Small potatoes [NY]) Posted on: Jun 8, 2021 2:35 PM

OWS, yes that's valid as long as the grass stays on the lawn or gets composted. So many landscrapers bag and toss their trimmimgs. This material is not ideal for municipal compost since they use herbicides. By me there us no yard trim facility and it's all trash.

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