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What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?

Re: Do you really give a shit about your lawn?

Postby fennel » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:29 pm

Michael Patrick wrote:I mow whatever species decides to make its home in the green spaces around my house. Other than that, I spend a whole lot more time tending to the plants that provide food.
Aye, that's a reasonable approach.
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Re: Do you really give a shit about your lawn?

Postby snoqueen » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:39 pm

I've got it.

Meade and Wags need to trade houses.

Wags's neighbors will be happy. Meade will have something new to obsess about, since Wags's lawn is imperfect and needs fixing. Wags doesn't care, so he'll be happy. Meade's old neighbors will probably be most relieved.

All good.
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Re: Do you really give a shit about your lawn?

Postby ouroborus4 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:46 pm

I don't really give a shit about my lawn per se (that is the grass covering my yard), but I do care about my landscaping. I've worked over the years to develop a more natural habitat with an upper canopy of trees, a mid canopy of smaller trees and shrubs, and a lower canapy of various perennials and herbaceous plants. Many of the plants provide nuts, berries, or other fruit for either myself or wildlife. It also provides shelter for various species and I frequently have a wide variety of unique birds, amphibians, and mammals. While it is a lot of work up front, in the long run, it is low maintenance. I do still have patches of lawn, which I take care of, but its greatly reduced from when I started, and I intend to reduce it to a minimum. My goal is to eventually not have any or much of a yard to mow, and what I do have, I plan to do by hand power.

I don't mind when neighbors fertilize per se, but I find the habitual 'true green' type services to be a tragedy. For one, the smell is sickening to me and inescapable, and the process produces a ton of run off fertilizer, pesticide, and herbicide. Not good for health or the environment.

As far as a lawn being good for psychological health, I believe the studies Jason is referring to specify 'green space' rather than lawn. This is inclusive of woods, treed parks, prarie, and the conventional lawn. A presence of these things has been shown to be psychologically beneficial, but the studies I am familiar with do not specify "well-maintianed".
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Re: Do you really give a shit about your lawn?

Postby Igor » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:49 pm

Try my best to keep the lawn in somewhat decent shape. Hampered because of the ridiculous clay soil that we have, as well as a dog whose urine kills everything it touches.

Were it not for the dog and last years drought, I suspect my lawn care would involve fertilizing once or twice and mowing. As it is, we have o rotate where the dog is let out each year, and I just re-seed the "fallow" portion as it were.
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Re: Do you really give a shit about your lawn?

Postby city2countrygal » Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:00 am

Last edited by city2countrygal on Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do you really give a shit about your lawn?

Postby TeachInPeace » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:32 pm

Not a single blade of grass on my property now, nor every will be. The front right now has been planted in some kind of ground cover and random bulbs, which are nice to look at and require no maintenance. The back yard is similar. I plan to systematically replace the decorative plants in the front with raised-bed food and herb gardens, as the front gets the most full sun. My street features all kinds of set ups, but most everyone only has a tiny little bit of urban "lawn". No mowing yet.

What I really don't get is the endless whining about the lawn maintenance from McMansion dwellers - did they think plants are like carpeting? If they don't like mowing, why not grow something useful? I don't understand at all...
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Re: Do you really give a shit about your lawn?

Postby snoqueen » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:21 am

Oh, I can answer that one. They like turf grass because it is difficult and expensive. Owning and maintaining something difficult and expensive is a sign of status.

If appearance was all that mattered, they'd kill all the grass and install some residential astroturf product that stayed perfectly green all the time and just needed vacuuming once or twice a year.
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Re: Do you really give a shit about your lawn?

Postby DCB » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:32 am

ouroborus4 wrote:I don't really give a shit about my lawn per se (that is the grass covering my yard), but I do care about my landscaping.
... I do still have patches of lawn, which I take care of, but its greatly reduced from when I started, and I intend to reduce it to a minimum. My goal is to eventually not have any or much of a yard to mow, and what I do have, I plan to do by hand power.

That's pretty much my approach. My reel mower (runs on beer and cheese) cuts what's left of the grass.

The dandelions bloom in profusion for a week or two. But I think there's enough other flowers and stuff to distract potential critics who care about such things. And thankfully, few of my neighbors seem to.

Thanks to the shade, a good chunk of the grass has yielded to moss, which I like.

So, short answer, yes. I care about the lawn. Its just that the grass is the least interesting and least cared-for part of it.
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Re: Do you really give a shit about your lawn?

Postby Meade » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:58 am

If you care about the environment and mitigating the negative effects of human activity-caused global warming, as I do, you will give a shit about your lawn and all the other plants on your property. http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop ... o1800.html

In other words, people who don't give a shit about their lawn are murderers.
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Re: Do you really give a shit about your lawn?

Postby WestSideYuppie » Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:15 pm

snoqueen wrote:If appearance was all that mattered, they'd kill all the grass and install some residential astroturf product that stayed perfectly green all the time and just needed vacuuming once or twice a year.

It's called creeping charlie. Through years of selective breeding, I've developed a variety that grows to just under the height of my mower blade. It's remarkably drought- and kid-proof. My grass doesn't green up until at least a couple weeks after most of the neighbors, and I don't really know if there's anything I can do that doesn't involve money and time. Keeping weeds out is a losing proposition, as the seeds blow in from everywhere. This, as I have learned, is Wisconsin. The neighbors don't care. The 'hood is a patchwork of different styles and levels of care.

I don't know if I care about my lawn grass, but I'd prefer to live in pleasant surroundings. More trees and less grass would be nice. I wouldn't mind having the time to keep nicer gardens. My veggie garden keeps expanding every year.
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Re: Do you really give a shit about your lawn?

Postby Kyle Motor » Wed May 01, 2013 4:17 pm

I mow when the patchy crap gets just long enough to start to look terrible. I like my neighbors and I don't want my yard to be a shitshow.

But aside from that, I care absolutely zero about my lawn. I have no expendable funds for fertilizer/chemicals/etc, and if I did I'd still probably think it's a waste of time & money.
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Re: Do you really give a shit about your lawn?

Postby jjoyce » Wed May 01, 2013 6:13 pm

Some of my neighbors have this stuff in their yards that grows into blooming white flowers which last a week or two and then they die or whatever and get mowed like normal grass.

I'd like something like that, something that's kind of different and surprising. I guess dandelions can serve the same purpose, but for some reason they're the lawn equivalent of a bad acne problem.
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Re: Do you really give a shit about your lawn?

Postby fennel » Wed May 01, 2013 6:55 pm

I love dandelions. (From April until the end of May.)
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Re: Do you really give a shit about your lawn?

Postby Ryanwiz » Mon May 13, 2013 10:39 am

I do care about my lawn but it's the level of interest that comes in waves. I mean, I love it when my immediate neighbors take their sweet time to bust out the mowers, as this buys me time. The crippling guilt I feel from my couch (creeepin' from my front window) while watching them toil away; picking and pruning, mowing and weeding; this is what sometimes presses me into action, but it's the satisfaction stemming from a job well done that keeps me comin' back for more.

A nice, clean and tidy yard says something about me and my family (much like the clothes and hairstyles we wear). These are extensions of ourselves; our passions, interests, hobbies. I get to go out there and enthusiastically wave at the neighbors and I'm able to see and be seen while actually being part of my fantastic neighborhood. Ours is one filled with foot traffic and hand-shakes and talk of impeding storms; jogging strollers and bicycles and retirees and young families....and one really old basset hound. It's GOOD to witness and take part in such beauty.

All of that and it's nice to get down in the dirt once in a while. It helps to remember where we came from, as well as where we're going.
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Re: Do you really give a shit about your lawn?

Postby nutria » Wed May 15, 2013 9:22 am

There are few things in this world I find as vain, as unnecessary, and as downright banal as lawn care, especially when it comes to making the perfect square of green carpet so many people seem to obsess over. Sno hit on it earlier -- just go ahead and install astroturf, already.

FWIW, this imaginary conversation between god and St. Francis on lawn care sums up my feelings on the subject pretty well.
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