The concept of a lawn at a residence has a short, but rich, history. Basically, the rich had large estates and to demonstrate their wealth they had large swaths of land not used for cultivation. Today there are still people trying to show off their wealth by owning large lands of uselessness. Things seem to be changing though as people eschew their lawns – some people replace it with something good and others just don’t care about the class association.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the traditional American lawn has come in for some scrutiny in recent years. Some, like Baker, are abandoning regular lawn maintenance out of environmental concerns — lawns require fertilizer to grow and gas to mow, and they take up space that could otherwise be used for animal habitat.
California is suffering a huge drought due to horrible water use policies and climate change. For some reason people love to have lawns where they naturally shouldn’t exist, this itself leads to massive water wastage and arguably microclimate issues. Thankfully, perhaps people are beginning to understand that their landscaping is a sad attempt to modify their built environment.
A better solution than an artificial environment is a natural one. Xeriscaping may be a good solution to reduce water waste. Check out how it can replace lawns with aesthetic and naturally pleasing solutions.
Lawns require a lot of maintenance and a lot of energy (think water, pumping that water, fertilizer, transporting that fertilizer, and so on) and if you have the space to grow a lawn you have space to do a lot of better things with plants. If you don’t have a garden, or even if you do, here are some really cool alternatives for growing a lawn.
Reducing the size of your lawn can benefit the environment while saving you time, energy and expense. And the result need not be a loss in aesthetic appeal.
These are plants which spread across the ground but do not grow tall, so no cutting is required. Areas planted in groundcover need little to no maintenance. Groundcovers are usually chosen for texture, density and how well they spread and choke out the weeds. They enhance the soil by acting as a mulch, and some groundcovers are nitrogen-fixing.
Clover is often planted by gardeners as a soil conditioner. It grows quickly and easily, chokes out weeds and is easily ‘turned in’ to the beds when planting time draws near. The deep root system reduces soil compaction. Clover is also a nitrogen-fixing plant, which enriches the soil with natural fertilizer.