While I was riding my bike to work the other morning, I stopped for a traffic signal to change. As I was sitting there, I noticed four separate lawn care crews at the intersection, each distinguished by the rumble of their oversized diesel pick-up truck and attached utility trailer filled with mowers, leaf blowers and a litany of other lawn care tools and instruments. It was if reveille had been blown and the competing armies were on the move across the front lines of the summer turf wars.
In all honesty, I have never quite figured out what all the fuss is about regarding having the perfectly manicured lawn. They look so sterile and are hardly natural. You get far more interesting wildlife by “de-sterilizing” it some.
Manicured lawns may be aesthetically pleasing to some, but traditional turf is hardly good for the environment. So much of the crapola we spread, spray, pour, drop, or distribute ends up washing right down our collective storm sewers and right into the local watering holes turning them into yucky and smelly algae blooms.
When I was looking at houses some time back, a realtor told me that one homeowner they knew actually used a carpenter’s level to make sure his grass was neat, tidy, and evenly cut. As my dad used to say, “if it is green it is good.” Thankfully, he never obsessed for the perfect lawn in sure a manner.
Neither have I. Fertilizer or weed killer have been rarely applied to my lawns and then if it must, it had to be organic. I also fail to see the need to drench your yard when dry conditions take place. The grass goes dormant and brown. So what? As soon as the weather turns, it will turn green again.
While lawn care services proliferate the yellow pages, advertising, and other media, most of the time I see the summer turf wars as good money being wasted by consumers on elusive dreams. That money could have been used for something more environmentally friendly and far more productive.
Lastly, instead of hiring a service, maybe more people should get off their duff and get some light exercise taking care of their property. Every little bit helps, particularly in this era of gargantuan soft drinks, super-sized servings, and sugar-coated everything else. Just a thought.