Alternatives To A Turfgrass Lawn
The cost of keeping a perfect lawn is unbelievably staggering when you stop to consider everything involved. Why is it we choose to keep a large green carpet of grass around out yards certainly it is not for the sake of saving money. The cost of maintaining a lawn and the labor involved in keeping a lawn manicured is very very expensive. I guess that having that carpet of green around makes a nice background for our homes to sit on. I can tell you that it is not an earth friendly option for surrounding our homes with.
If you consider the amount of fertilizer, pesticide, and water it takes to keep a lawn green and growing throughout the year you would be amazed at the impact that has on the environment and contamination of ground water not to mention the exposure to chemicals for humans and animals. This does not even take into account the damage being done by the co2 released by lawn mowers,string trimmers and backpack blowers.
I know that a lot of people will view this article in a negative light but keep an open mind. While I do not propose that it is possible to turn everyone’s yard into a natural habitat that is ecofriendly I think that these are all valuable ideas which as a gardener you should consider. It is sometimes hard to go against the grain but those who have foresight sometimes can influence the masses.
It may be time to start tearing out those perfectly trimmed lawns in favor of native plants. There are many benefits to using native plantings. First of all once they are established native plants reduced the need for any or most fertilizer and pesticides because they are adapted to the region. This will help to protect the groundwater, rivers, and lakes.
Remembering the cost of well maintain lawns a native plant landscape in comparison saves money it is hardy, drought resistant, attractive, and low maintenance. Plus it does not require lots of water especially at the time when water is most scarce. Native trees and shrubs actually improve the soils ability to store water and to reduce runoff. They are also very important in that they actually clean the air and improve our environment.
Creating a natural environment also will attract wildlife. By planting native plants you will be providing a home for wildlife who has seen it’s habitat destroyed steadily over the years as we developed it into homes and shopping malls. This will provide a haven for them and in return we will enjoy the songbirds and butterflies the dragonflies, the chipmunks and squirrels. Switching to native plants may seem a bit drastic and you may worry about what your neighbor thinks.
Here is what I think. We are all stewards of this planet. We are here for but a short time and have a chance to nurture and improve that which we are given to watch over or we can take and use with no care or concern for our children and their children s future. We can be greedy and be concerned about ourselves or we can concern our selves with being good stewards and neighbors. What kind of neighbor would you like to live next too?
Glenn Bronner is a professional grounds keeper with over 40 years of experience in gardening and the horticulture industry. Come join him as he tends the Urban Garden and The Woodland Garden and shares gardening tips and knowledge at his site.
Glenns Garden http://glenns-garden.com