Let me ask you a question. Do you have a lawn or a yard? What is the difference, you ask? A lawn is a plot of grass, usually tended or mowed, as one around a residence or in a park or estate. While a yard is A tract of ground next to, surrounding, or surrounded by a building or buildings, usually covered in grass. I have a yard, always have. I grew up with a front yard and a back yard. If we had a lawn it was a small patch directly in front of the house that my father sodded with scraps of sod leftover from other jobs.
The modern lawn is a relatively new addition to the American Dream, having been around since only the end of the Second World War. While lawns may have worked well in a temperate climate like the mid-Atlantic, the rest of the country is different story. Yet as I said everyone wanted a piece of the American Dream, a little house of their own with a front lawn. People began to devote more and more time and money to the upkeep of their lawns. Just think how much time do you devote to your yard on the weekend?
Reasons to Reconsider Your Lawn
- Per acre, it costs more to maintain a lawn than it does to grow corn, rice or sugarcane. More than 40 billion dollars are spent on the lawn in North American each year.
- 10 times more herbicides per acre are dumped on lawns than on the fields of agribusiness.
- Phosphorus run-off from lawn fertilizer causes algae blooms that suck oxygen out of lakes, asphyxiating fish
- 30% of the water used on the East Coast of U.S. goes towards watering of lawns. A single golf course in Tampa, Florida uses 178,800 gallons of water every day, enough to meet the daily water needs of over 2,200 people.
So What Can You Do?
Are you tired of taking care of your lawn? I know that some people have to deal with HOA. I feel your pain, but you may be able to still find ways to reduce your use of pesticides and watering
- Have a combined use yard, with perennial grasses, flowers, herbs and vegetables
- Plant a kitchen garden – mine is in my front yard so it is close to the house
- Xeriscaping (planting of drought resistant plants)
- Encourage native plants to grow back
- Plant a variety of low ground covers such as creeping thyme and chamomile
- Try a meadow,
- Use native plants
- Plant a habitat gardens,
- Put in a courtyard a la paved Spanish style
- Try a wildlife garden