Field of Science

Ecological lawn care

The Phactor is an excellent source for advice on lawn care.

Lesson 1: Nothing is duller or more uninteresting than a monoculture of grass! This is a basic principle from which all else follows logically. Grassy lawns are such simple ecosystems they require a constant input to maintain, while if sufficiently ignored they will reach a more complex state of stability. A visitor to my spacious estate once asked how lawn weeds were managed in the shadier areas? Simple, they are left alone, of course, some are only weeds when in a lawn (scilla, spring beauty, bluebells, trillium)(see photo). My lawn ecosystem forms a green expanse, so what does it matter if the
chloroplasts are housed within a grass or creeping Charlie?

Lesson 2: Minimize lawn area. You can’t eat grass, so transform as much lawn as possible into gardens. Big beds of perennials will relieve lawn boredom and in the long run take much less work. You’ll be able to trade in that big honking Peterbilt riding lawn mower (you need the exercise of walking anyways) for a funky garden bench with a matching table upon which to place your margarita.


Lesson 3: Never, ever fertilize your lawn! Nutrients just make the grass grow and then you have to mow it. It’s a nasty cycle.


Lesson 4: Never, ever water your lawn! Didn’t you get the idea of Lesson 3? Don’t be a slow learner; the idea is to avoid mowing. Besides grass is supposed to turn brown and go dormant in hot, dry summers. Your neighbors probably don’t know this and they would appreciate the information. Lead by example; suburbia will raise a statue (or is that a statute?) in your honor.


Lesson 5: The plant diversity of your lawn and gardens is directly correlated with your IQ. This goes without saying, and it explains why lawn monoculturalists are so difficult to teach.


Lesson 6: Start writing a book. If anyone complains about your minimalist lawn care, simply counter by saying, with a slightly affected tone, “My book writing doesn’t leave time for things like lawn care.” This immediately puts the complainer on the defensive; what have they ever written? This has been working for the Phactor for about 10 years now and counting (hope my editor doesn’t see this).


Lesson 7: Plant lots of trees. Grass doesn’t grow well under trees so you can plant ferns and shady wildflowers and never, ever mow again. But don’t throw that old lawnmower away; they are pretty useful for chopping up leaves each fall which you apply as mulch.


Coming soon to this blog. How to get sponsorship for your gardening blog.

6 comments:

Larissa said...

guess no one told the people living in our old house about the evils of grass. I can't believe they pulled up the most low-maintenance garden that house has - and replaced those beautiful perennial flowers with boring old grass. I just don't understand people sometimes.

Dr A said...

Clearly infidels.

ForestJane said...

#5 sounds like a good rationalization to me.

Cris said...

LOL. #5 FTW! :)

AnneTanne said...

I love this story about lawncare so much...

The Phytophactor said...

Thanks to AnneTanne for such a funny link. Wish I'd found it before!