Sunday, March 27, 2011

The abyss, our lawn!

For the three years we have lived in this house, we have been struggling with what to do for our lawn care.  We have SUCH a disaster of a lawn: weeds, dandelion, just plain ugly.  We live in a neighborhood of pristine lawns so we feel the heat even more, but luckily we are at the end of a cul de sac so other than our immediate neighbors, we aren't really too exposed by traffic.  We've also been trying to talk to our neighbors (who ALL have kids) about the chemicals they are exposing their kids to, so we are slowly noticing that some people are doing less to chemical-treat their lawns.  Maybe this year we won't be the only lawn on the block with the all-natural look.

Last year we just avoided dealing with it and it got bad, really bad, as in knee high dandelions overnight.  This year, we are researching ahead of time and calling "green" lawn care companies to see what they can offer.  There is a lot of work associated with doing it ourselves, so we would LOVE to find a green lawn care company to do it for us, but every time I look at the MSDS sheets for the "green" herbicides they apply "only once a year" they include risks like damage to the liver and thyroid, carcinogens that cause tumors, danger to marine life when it ends up in the water table.  I am not prepared to put our environment and children at risk to have a perfect lawn.  I just don't know how these lawn care companies can call themselves green when they are putting chemicals into our earth, even if they are just "one application" per year (with each product I might add) with "1/3rd of the dose of chemicals".

So what if we decided to just give our kids one application of 1/3rd of the mercury in a typical vaccination....?  No thanks.  That doesn't work for me when I know there are other options out there.

Part of the problem here is people's expectations of what a lawn should look like.  Do we really need golf courses for lawns?  Why is clover unwanted?  It offers the ground nitrogen and it prevents weed growth, it's also soft and fluffy under the feet and grows slow and low so it doesn't require constant care.  Personally, I think this sounds fabulous!  Get over your golf-course image and consider natural alternatives.

We will be buying and applying organic non-GMO corn gluten first, then we will aerate the ground before over-seeding with organic seed including clover, fertilize a few times a year, then as long as we just maintain this plan annually for a few years, it should get to the point where it's very low maintenance long-term.

1 comment:

Anne said...

Hahaha, I don't believe the timing of this post. I just visited my parents, who still live in the house where I grew up since I was six. And I walked on the lawn - and marvelled. It is dry from a long winter, but sooo beautiful, welcoming, fragrant and full of childhood memories - and it's almost exclusively moss! Nothing like a golf lawn, it's the most beautiful lawn I know :-). Natural, full of life and variation, and full of tiny strawberry-plants too, in the summer. Hope you find a solution that works for your lawn!