Climate Change: Our manicured lawns

Discussion in 'Plants: Conservation' started by Acerholic, Sep 12, 2020 at 4:45 AM.

  1. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    I was reading recently about the water usage in the US and in Europe on our lawns and was very surprised at actually how much is used.
    Now in these times of heat waves and devastating fires around the world, is it time for the manicured lawn in our gardens to say goodbye.
    This link shows how much is used along with chemicals that do nothing but harm to the environment.

    Grass takes up 2% of the land in the continental US

    I removed my lawn in 2019 to plant trees and native plants. I am already seeing more wildlife in my garden because of this.
    My rain water harvesting system now lasts comfortably throughout the Summer for my trees and plants, causing no loss to treated supply water. My water bills are lower as an added bonus.

    I think it is now something for people to consider, hence why I have created this thread for some thought.
     
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  2. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Thanks for posting this, Acerholic. I was going to post a link from last weekend's Globe and Mail, but it's behind a paywall. Here is a yard maintenance service page on facebook that has a link to the article, but also has a lot of alternative ideas to look at.
    No Mow and Tidy Property Maintenance
     
  3. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    @wcutler Good evening Wendy, from a lawn to a veg garden!!! Not sure if that will take off, but the point is well made. I like the section on ditches and culverts and how water is filtered so much better if left to grow naturely.
    I hope this thread just raises the question, that are the days of the neatly manicured lawn a thing of the past. IMO I hope so.
     
  4. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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  5. Margot

    Margot Contributor

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    This photo shows one reason I love my little lawn. Not only is it a perfect place to run around in your bare feet or have a picnic but it also provides a visual contrast to the busyness of the surrounding gardens.

    It is misleading to couch the argument about lawns in completely environmental terms. Not every lawn needs to be a 'manicured' lawn. If not grass, what? Gravel? Pavers? What else can substitute for the useful and tranquil space with so little maintenance. I can't think of any groundcover that would fit the bill and I challenge anyone to name any that a child can play on as happily as on a lawn.

    The property where I grew up had an acre of lawn - a playground where my siblings and I constantly played. It was never fertilized or watered. In my garden, I've got an acre of plants, plants, plants. The 1000 square feet planted in grass is, in my opinion, the best choice aesthetically and practically. It receives no more water or fertilizers than the gardens around it - and it's a lot less work!

    Like so many discussions in which gardeners and homeowners engage, individual circumstances make an enormous difference in the ethics of how a gardener/homeowner chooses to allocate space in their gardens. While I think it is very important for people to know the possible negatives of sustaining a lawn, I regret that an informed personal decision has now devolved into the narrow realm of political correctness. I refuse to be made feel guilty for my well-thought-out choice to enjoy the benefits of a lovely little lawn.
     

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  6. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    As I recall, this subject has come up a number of times in the past for people seeking an alternative to grass. Clover, moss, and thyme had been suggested, to name a few. Here is one such thread: Moss instead of Grass. Of course no one alternative will work in all situations, and even grass may be best. It all depends on where it's to be grown.
     
  7. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    @Margot. Have to agree with you Margot, the lawn was a perfect place also for my children and grandchildren when growing up to play on.
    No one should feel guilty in any way about having a lawn in their garden and yes it is the perfect accompliment for a flower or shrub border etc etc.
    But I wonder if these days as Junglekeeper posted there are alternatives to reduce the water and chemicle usage in our gardens !!!??
    This thread was to put it out there, for people to consider these alternatives only.

    My wife and I love your photo very much btw.
     
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  8. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    I thought this was a good alternative to anyone wanting a green area. OK its not for the large lawn. But worth considering.....?
    Chamomile lawns
     
  9. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Also, on that Cahamomile page, they mention "Chamomile lawns tolerate only occasional light pedestrian traffic, and become patchy when walked on excessively."
    It doesn't sound like it would hold up well to evening soccer games with the family, or even evening picnics. But for big expanses where no-one even walks, it could even look nice.
     
  10. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    @wcutler I do agree Wendy, it is perfect for a family area and far better than these new artificial lawns that are springing up everywhere these days.
    But perhaps it's time for the 'manicured' bit to dissapear!!?? And a more natural look to take it's place, with wild flowers part of these areas !!??
     

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