The Perfect Lawn?

A neighbour’s front lawn is always perfectly manicured, like a bowling green, no weeds. What a shock the other day to see it with a large brown patch in the middle. What had happened?

It turns out he paid good money to get a local company to come and remove the moss. Obviously they used chemicals, something went wrong, and the brown patch was the result.

This reminded me of my late father’s lawns, bless him. He was always feeding and putting on weedkillers promoted to improve the lawn. Often bits got brown, so yet more treatment ensued.

Now, our front and back lawns are green. This is not to boast – if you examine them closely you will find moss, daisies and other plantains along with a fair amount of grass. But at least they look green, and the daisies add interest in my view. Apart from mowing, they get little attention – hopefully an annual scarify to get rid of some moss, a poke with a fork if they’re lucky, removal of the odd dandelion or buttercup that might take over, the odd sprinkle of grass seed on the resulting bare bit, and occasionally leaving the cuttings on to soak in some nutrients. Of course, we live in the north west of England, so watering is not generally needed. As a management method, it seems to work.

Indeed, the method even works for establishing a new lawn. At our first house in Crewe, we simply levelled an area of the back garden and started mowing it from time to time. Eventually it turned into a perfectly acceptable green lawn.

All this leaves me to ponder: what is the point of all those preparations sold in the gardening shops to improve lawns by feeding and killing weeds? Is it just part of our mindset that we have to control nature, rather than largely just letting it get on with things for itself?

And what happens to the herbicides – presumably they just stay in the soil or leach into natural water systems…

The only thing worse is the current peculiar infatuation with artificial grass, which is taking alientation from nature to rather extreme levels…

Feature image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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