We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I have posted often about grass lawns in the past.
Meadows are far better than lawns, but pretty lawns are a suburban real estate necessity. They are completely artificial. They rely on irrigation, fertilizer, weed and bug chemicals. etc. Like hydroponic gardening.
I happen to feel that lawns are perfect parts of English-style gardens. Lawn is one part of an appealing garden.
How can one minimize the artifice and fragility of the unnatural thing which is a mowed lawn (especially in the northern half of the US)?
- Irrigation. It fools the grasses into thinking it's Spring.
- Topdressing. It's what woodland grasses get naturally from fallen leaves and detritus.
- Aeration. It's what grasses get naturally from worms, moles, and digging animals.
Bought a new house complete with lawn and sprinklers. Last fall when I had the sprinkler system flushed and shut down for winter I decided I preferred something I didn't water or mow. Removed the lawn and replaced it with 3/4 gravel. Bonus!! The nieghbor dogs and cats no longer like my lawn.
Does anyone even have earthworms anymore ?? Didn't used to need to aerate the lawns. Fat worms/night crawlers even. Coming out at night and after rain. Too many poisons sprayed on lawns anymore I suppose. Cant hardly find a worm. I celebrate when I find one my garden....used to be common.
The soil is too acid and nutrient-poor here to grow a lawn with anything less than continuous chemical life support, so I don't even try. The unused spaces are thus filled with whatever random vegetation can survive there-- clover, violets, sphagnum moss, etc. And a few grasses that haven't gotten the word that they're doomed.
That said, it hasn't prevented (it seems) hundreds of moles from tunneling around under the surface. Poison baits, smoke bombs, nothing touches them or affects their numbers. What are they eating? Who knows.
Anyone who wants some moles for aeration is welcome to come and take as many of mine as they want. You're welcome.