Friday, May 13, 2011
The stupidity of lawns
If someone tried to sell you three million tiny plants that demanded a considerable amount of maintenance, including weekly pruning throughout their growing season, you'd probably decline the offer. But most of us have (more or less willingly) planted, mowed, watered, fertilized, and weeded a lawn. Yes, yes, I know there are many good alternatives to lawns, and someday I will convert mine, but for now I endure the stupidity of a lawn.
Here's something we lawn-owners can consider as we trudge behind our lawnmowers: grasses (wild and cultivated) grow differently than other plants. If you regularly lopped off the most-actively growing part of another plant--say the branches off a tree--you'd kill it. But because grass grows from its base, at or near the ground, we can (and indeed, must) mow it repeatedly throughout its growing season.
And while my lawn is small enough that I can tackle it with an old-fashioned push mower rather than a noisy exhaust-producing gas-drinker, it's still big enough for me to ponder my foolish landlubber ways. Arr!