In many circles the needs of turf are being seriously questioned as a waste of time, energy and money.
The earth if paying the price of pollution with oil, gas and smoke, fertilizer, herbicides, fungicides, in addition of noise. Where do you think all these substances land? They do not disappear misteriously, they go to our water sources. The ecology and biodiversity are affected with the turf infatuation all over the world.
Unless the turf is cut with a push mower, goat, sheep or whatever, turf lovers, golf players are destroying
our earth for nothing!
It's certainly a valid question, whether a lawn is worth the effort it takes to sustain it. It's not too hard to grow grass in my climate, but many places need to irrigate to have 'decent' grass. I'd venture to say that the effort is what led to the development of the 'lawn' as a luxury, accessory to a wealthy person's property, and now seen as standard dress for Suburbia.
Thanks for reading and commenting.
A lush green lawn is not part of a good garden.
I am removing anything that resembles "lawn" from my yard.
Fine for lawn bowling and golf courses,but we do not need to waste resources and add to pollution in residential areas.
Lawns make a neighbourhood boring!
I respect your viewpoint.
When we bought this house, there was a dozen young trees, some standard (overgrown) front yard and foundation planting, and a scrap of veggie bed. One of my first moves was to decide that the row of trees in the back with struggling grass under it, should not try to have grass at all. That was followed by various perimeter beds for flowers, and a vegetable garden.
Do you have any recommendations on the process of un- lawning a conventional 'yard?"
Would you like to post any pictures of your lawn alternatives?
There are some yards where that works, but if you have children and no lawn, where do they play? Especially if they are small children and cannot travel to a neighborhood playground (which does not exist in our neighbourhood anyway.)
We have both a front and back grass lawn. The front has a sprinkler system that waters the grass and the daylily beds that take up the side of the property. They are not turned on all the time. The back yard has no system and is not watered at all. I do ocationally water the daylily beds in the back yard by hand with a hose.
I actually put a little lawn back! I water my fruit trees and nut trees, and the new lawn gets that water too. I got a dog last Nov ember, and I notice he loves putting his belly on a cool strip of grass. My lawn is on the North side where it does not need a lot of water.
Edit to say I am an organic gardener, my garden is a registered wild life habitat and I cut the grass with a push mower and scissors.
My ideas which I am still working on to replace lawn are:
Replacing the corner slope with an alpine garden. (don't have the money,time and energy to get it all done so in the meantime there are wildflowers there.)
Along one edge, I am doing shrubs and will mulch the area with wood chips.
I would like to do it with rock,but rock is expensive and too heavy.
On the level parts I am thinking of raised beds of vegetables, or I may just use
one of the new "no mow" mixes to replace the tall grasses which need mowing.
North of the house I recently planted a shade garden.
Most of the yard will be planted beds with paths of gravel.
I like a more natural rather than formal garden.
Thanks for another great article, Sally! I remember seeing the headline when it came out and thinking "I need to read that asap"... but what with one distraction and another, I didn't do the weed killing & topseeding I meant to do last month! oops So, now I was checking to see if I had time still to put down a "winterizer" type of fertilizer (*whew* looks like I do, if only just) and whether or not I should bother with any broad-leaf weed killers.
I really only try for "good lawn" in the front yard.. in back, we don't mind clover, and in fact the bunnies & groundhogs have been eating the clover the last couple of summers and mostly leaving the garden alone (so we can all be friends LOL). In front, I've about pushed the limit with replacing some lawn with other landscaping... we have an HOA to deal with... and my neighbors are mostly into lawn rather than garden.
In back, Jim made me promise to leave enough grass lawn to play catch or badminton, and I've done that, but that's about it. I've got my "backyard wildlife habitat" certification also, and I think that makes the neighbors feel better about my brush piles. :-) I love the odd shape of our lot, at the end of a cul-de-sac, because we have a pretty small front yard and more space in back... and it's the front that needs to "fit in" to the neighborhood... I can get away with more (so far anyway) in the back. It's a compromise that works for me.
I have a back yard neighbor whose idea of perfect landscaping (he told me several years ago) is "uninterrupted green grass." He is much happier now that his leland cypress (gag) and my crooked willow pretty much block his view of my yard. !