Do lawns disturb nature?
Let’s dive into the two biggest claims against lawn care and the one you may not be aware of to find out.
You water your houseplants, your flower garden, and even your newly planted trees but why?
Because you are taking care of your property and your lawn is no exception. All plants including healthy lawns need to be watered on occasion, and like all components of your home, you’re entitled to a healthy-looking lawn. The water cycle means water isn’t wasted, during the summer when you are watering your lawn, moisture is evaporating faster than the water can leach down into the water table meaning that all the water you supply indirectly cools your home through evaporation.
Protecting our pollinators
Protecting our native plants and crops. But eliminating your dandelions isn’t the real problem, habitat loss and climate change is the real threat to our pollinators in more ways than one. Reversing climate change means reducing our carbon footprint so choosing organic-based fertilizers is a great way to recycle waste instead of using fossil fuels. Choosing a home closer to the city will also help with habitat loss as living farther means more infrastructure is needed for your commute and therefore more pollinator habitat is lost.
Dandelions can be a source of nectar to pollinators but according to the honey bee research station, dandelions are not even a preferred food. Long before dandelions emerge, pollinators are taking advantage of trees and continue to do so throughout the year because of the higher nutrition content. A field of dandelions may offer some food but pale in comparison to trees and ornamental gardens. Keep your lawn, and plant a flowering shrub.
The white and blue fertilizer everyone is used to is primarily made from natural gas and requires tremendous amounts of energy to produce. This is the cheapest way to fertilize your lawn and certainly the most widely available. Fertilize cheaply and you’ll become familiar with insects, disease, and compaction.
Not all fertilizers are created equal and by using the cheapest product out there you are missing out on all the benefits of organic-based products while also creating more management responsibilities for yourself. Instead, organic-based fertilizers give your lawn what it needs —healthy soil.
Highly soluble synthetic fertilizer is mostly filler but the real problem is all the extra work you’re creating for yourself. These products deplete your beloved turf’s stored energy, slowly depletes the fertility of your soil, and will even make it more difficult for your grass to acquire other nutrients and moisture in the soil.
If lawns are “bad” where does concrete stand? Not only does concrete completely displace the insects that otherwise occupy a lawn but it produces a huge amount of greenhouse gasses to produce cement while sequestering nothing back as grass does quite well. Concrete also prevents water infiltration which can be a flood risk during a storm and overburden water treatment facilities.
Come home to your lawn
Lawns and gardens are the extensions of your home. To be proud is a universal feeling and you are entitled to take pride in your surroundings. Spending time at your home should be a delight and something you are putting out into the wide world for anyone else to experience. Love your home, love your lawn.
You can’t compare lawns to a boreal forest or the great plains of Canada because these are not urban environments. While traditional lawn care approaches are not beneficial to the environment, it’s not necessarily for the reasons you may think. The problem is our contribution to greenhouse gasses & infrastructure. While landscaping businesses should be more cognizant of their impact, everyone should still be proud of their home. If you are hesitant to maintain a beautiful lawn because of the environmental impact, all you need is the right choice of products and you can absolutely benefit the environment and love your lawn.