I was recently browsing through an Australian gardening magazine. (I read them so you don’t have to.) A column claiming that “turf is one of the most environmentally friendly products in the world” caught my attention. Here are some of its claims:
- Turf is drought-tolerant. Well, warm-season turf is.
- Turf can reduce carbon pollution. “Turf is much better than trees and shrubs at taking carbon from the air and locking it up in the soil.”
- Turf is the best natural chemical filter.
- Turf reduces heat.
I don’t know whether this is true or not, but it makes me think that the usual problems associated with turf (too much water, pesticides, fungicides) might be more the fault of the person with the lawn. If the lawn owner didn’t need a perfectly green carpet of grass, there wouldn’t be much need for all the fuss.
Much of my one-acre property is lawn grass. Actually, it is a mixture of lawn grass, weeds, clover, and anything else that happens to be growing there. I don’t lift a finger to maintain it (except mowing—which produces harmful emissions). I like my lawn and have no reason to remove it: What would my kids play on? But I also don’t water it or feed it.
Could it be that lawns aren’t the problem, but improper expectations are?