Ditching your lawn for a sustainable landscape can be an overwhelming concept. It might be even more than overwhelming for someone who has always had perfectly manicured grass around their home. Recently businesses and homeowners have begun to realize the benefits of transforming lawn space by introducing native plants. For most environmentalists the list of reasons for replacing is a long one.
If you’re a homeowner, consider just a few reasons why replacing your grass might improve your world. Maybe even more importantly, improve the world around you.
While the start up costs of installing a sustainable landscape on your property may initially seem more costly than you currently pay to maintain a lawn, consider the longterm average of both. With a lawn, you’re paying for a mower and maintenance, and the fuel to run it. You’re paying for fertilizers and weed killers, and maybe even pesticides. While it may be minimal, you’re still paying to water your lawn, especially if you prefer to avoid it going dormant later in the season.
Once a sustainable landscape is established, you won’t need to worry about expensive lawn care equipment. With many natural landscapes, there is little to no maintenance once installed.
More Free Time
Consider how much time you spend mowing your lawn (especially in the spring) and then edging the lawn along the sidewalks, and then cleaning up the clippings, etc. Think about how you plan your week and realize it’s going to rain Tuesday and Wednesday and you already have plans on Thursday but by Friday the grass will be too long. You have no choice but to mow today even though you’d rather do something else.
With a sustainable landscape in place, you can do some trimming and low-level maintenance, but if you feel like putting it off or not doing at all, you can!
Fewer Pesticides And Fertilizers
Has a big box store convinced you to build a plan where you buy a special fertilizer for the spring, and then a grub killer (do you even have grubs??), then a winterizer, etc? Some of those programs include six steps of spreading different chemicals across your lawn. In most cases, most of those steps aren’t actually needed at all! (If you’re not convinced, take a photo of your lawn. Then skip one of the steps, and compare that photo to the following year.)
While all those huge bags you’re lugging back from the store are inconvenient, they’re also pretty expensive. Even the smallest bags serving a 5,000 square foot lawn could run over $200 a summer depending on how many steps you choose.
The worst part though is that most people will over fertilize and over spray their lawns. Even if you don’t mind throwing money away, those extra chemicals runoff into our water systems–even in the city!
That pristine lawn doesn’t just require the maintenance you put into it. The root system in those grasses is considerably different than the root system in shrubs, ornamental grasses, and trees. A sustainable landscape generally requires less water and can regenerate its own soil’s health with way less effort.
Arguably, A Sustainable Landscape Is More Beautiful!
The architects behind Levittown may have been convinced that a perfectly manicured golf-course quality lawn is ideal, but consider the appearance of a biodiverse yard you’ve seen. With a properly designed landscape, a unique blend of lavenders, tall grasses, and native plants offers a unique appearance that will pull a switch and have the Jones’ trying to keep up with you.