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Old 05-02-2023, 10:35 AM
 
3,381 posts, read 1,764,627 times
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Why do we keep pouring money and energy resources into having a well manicured green lawn?
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Old 05-02-2023, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Taos NM
5,376 posts, read 5,181,791 times
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1. Because people weirdly think their kids will go out and play football in the front yard or something
2. People are unimaginative and can't think of more creative landscape designs.

I've read stuff on this before and one of the factors is HOAs. People individually don't care about their own lawn that much, but due to the neighborhood aesthetic, they feel obligated to keep it there. City Planners have to be on board as well, because much of the lawnspace in the US is public land, not necessarily people's front yard.

I think it's generational hangover from people having farm animals in a fenced in grazing pasture in the past, and that aesthetic got carried down through generations. I don't have firm data on this, but my personal anecdotes are that old people are much more concerned about a lawn than gen Zers, it seems to be a fading trend, though it is quite sticky indeed.

The southwest US has been the leader in eliminating lawns due to water being so much on the forefront of people's mind, but it's as big of a deal if not bigger in the Southeast, where the chemicals and lack of more ecologically productive alternatives make it probably more impactful.
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Old 05-02-2023, 12:27 PM
 
Location: 29671
384 posts, read 287,491 times
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I hate "grass lawns" waste of time & energy
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Old 05-02-2023, 12:51 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, 615' Elevation, Zone 8b - originally from SF Bay Area
44,731 posts, read 81,641,337 times
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Our kids, and now our grandkids have always played on our front lawn, most recently frisbee and cornhole, but sometimes soccer or mini-football. I don't see a big waste of energy, we only have to water 3-4 times in July and August, and mow maybe once a month in April, May, June. and September. In our 29 years here I have never used fertilizer, just moss killer granules once a year. If you live in a dry desert area or where there is a water shortage such as in much of California, it's just not practical, but it's wasted water, not energy. Perhaps you mean human energy, such as the mowing, watering, fertilizing?
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Old 05-02-2023, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Tricity, PL
62,019 posts, read 87,699,646 times
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I agree. It cost a LOT of money to keep it pristine.
I see here that more and more people transition from perfect grass to perfect clover lawn that needs almost zero maintenance.
Clover requires no harsh chemicals, tolerates tough growing conditions, and fixes nitrogen in the soil for other plants to thrive.
Micro clover is becoming very popular. It doesn't need mowing, watering, fertilizing. It looks great, even, lush and soft. It takes over any weed, so you don't need to remove it.
It grows about 4" tall, so you don't need to mowe. With all that savings: mowing, pesticide, water - just imagine how much $$$ you save, and your time.
And kids love walking on it because it's so soft...
Clover can tolerate drought and stays green throughout the summer.

You can make a full switch to clover, or you can plant clover seeds along with grasses. Overseeding your existing lawn with clover is a great option that will retain your turfgrass look while giving you the benefits of clover.
All you need to do is to mow your clover 4-6 weeks before the first frost to winterize your lawn.

I do have mixed clover/grass on my front and back yard and I am very happy with the result.

If you like Bob Vila advice, read what he has to say about that:
https://www.bobvila.com/articles/clover-lawn/
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Old 05-02-2023, 11:49 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
7,354 posts, read 5,239,433 times
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A couple points:
-Lawns are relatively easy to maintain-- just put a couple sheep out there like they did in the past on the plantations. I think that's how the concept of having a lawn got started.

-Lawns are a mono-crop, biological desert....Much better idea, ecologically speaking, to maintain an English garden surrounding your house-- but much more work. Gardens provide much more habitiat and supports bio-diversity. People are too lazy & disinterested.. https://duckduckgo.com/?t=avast&q=en...ages&ia=images

-Kids playing on the lawn? Give us a break. Kids don't play outside anymore. They're too busy watching Netflix, playing video games and bullying each other or imagining themselves important stars on social media.
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Old 05-03-2023, 04:52 AM
 
17,669 posts, read 17,843,539 times
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Agree to a point. I know people who treat their lawn as if it is their occupation or hobby. They use whatever fertilizer and weed killers they hunk is best, cut more frequently, and do stuff I would never consider.

I mow roughly once a week at a higher blade setting than most of my neighbors. I still have most of the clover flowers after cutting. I don’t water my lawn nor do I put out fertilizer. I live in south Louisiana so having an uncut lawn can result in dangerous animals to live in the lawn and that can become a liability should someone get bitten. City has codes for such things so when a person’s lawn stays overgrown and unkempt for a period of time they will get a visit from the police and possible fine unless they address the issue. They’re pretty lenient, especially when compared to some power mad OCD HOA nanny walking onto your lawn with a camera and a ruler measuring your grass or photographing signs of dandelion or clover for proof of violations. Most neighbors will plant bushes but not trees. Hurricanes can topple tall trees onto homes. My back door neighbor is in the process of removing three trees that are dying. That is a health and safety issue.
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Old 05-03-2023, 06:39 AM
 
Location: 29671
384 posts, read 287,491 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
Our kids, and now our grandkids have always played on our front lawn, most recently frisbee and cornhole, but sometimes soccer or mini-football. I don't see a big waste of energy, we only have to water 3-4 times in July and August, and mow maybe once a month in April, May, June. and September. In our 29 years here I have never used fertilizer, just moss killer granules once a year. If you live in a dry desert area or where there is a water shortage such as in much of California, it's just not practical, but it's wasted water, not energy. Perhaps you mean human energy, such as the mowing, watering, fertilizing?
how do you suppose the products produced to maintain the lawn get created? (energy), unless you are solely relying on rain to water , energy in needed to produce water. etc
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Old 05-03-2023, 06:58 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
7,354 posts, read 5,239,433 times
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Some HOAs and zoning boards are more enlightened https://prairiecrossing.com/

RE: safety/liability....Most of us don't live where rattle snakes or alligators are a problem. Mice & rats really don't care if they need to traverse tall weeds or a creeping bent lawn to get to your house.

RE: clover-- the problem with clover (a favorite of pollinators) is that most species die back in winter, leaving bare ground. Not a probem at all if it's only growing in scattered patches among the grass....

Dandelions are a major source of nectar for pollinators early in the spring but are so well adapted that they tend to take over and squeeze out shorter grasses. The trick is to allow some but not let it get out of control...There's a movement here in WI (?other places?) for a "No Mow May."...Another well intentioned but meaningless environmental effort by the naive--- mowed short, dandelions just quickly grow new flowers on shorter stalks (luckily for the bees).

Some of us plant croccus bulbs scattered about the lawn. They sprout and flower in early spring, often showing some well appreciated color sticking up out of an inch or two of snow in April. By the time the lawn is ready for its first cutting in May, the crocci are done for the year and are not hurt by the mowing. They readily duplicate themselves, and within a few years you'll have clumps of many flowers where you had originally only planted one bulb.

And then there's ground cover-- a whole 'nuther way to replace grass lawn.
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Old 05-03-2023, 08:04 AM
 
4,075 posts, read 2,413,489 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKTwet View Post
Why do we keep pouring money and energy resources into having a well manicured green lawn?
Because I want to. Thank you very much. I like my lawn to look like a baseball field, golf course. I take pride in ridding all crabgrass and dandelions from my lawn. What do you care? It's my money and energy. You just stay off my lawn buddy!
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