I not sure if this is the correct group to put this in, but let me
give this a try an see what you folks think.
It now takes about $30 in gas to fill up my mower. That does not even
take into account maintenance and labor. I was musing that if some
safe chemical could be sprayed on the grounds that would retard grass
growth either partially or completely, it would be worth significant
dollars in savings.
Is anyone currently doing this or is anything like this in the
My lawn is not big enough to make that a concern, but if it was, it would
not longer be lawn as we know it. There are plants that can be used to give
a nice even looking filed of green but does not grow much more than 6" or
so. It will not only save gas, but you labor if you converted a portion to
some natural plantings, clover, etc. We put too much emphasis on having
that large perfectly manicured lawn as a status symbol.
I agree, but when you live in a subdivision, even a rural one like mine,
what are your alternatives? Even assuming you can get past the cranky
neighbors and nanny code officers, anything 'weird' is likely to bite you in
the butt come resale time. Unless it is in a clearly defined planting bed,
anything other than grass is cosidered a weed. Most of my neigbors are
retired, with too much spare time, and really like driving their toy
tractors around. Me, as long as it is green and holds the dirt down, I'm
happy. My neighbors don't talk to me much anymore......
(And of course, if you are in an HOA neighborhood, well, we all know what
they think about individuality....)
I bought this place 2.5 years ago, when interest rates were at a 40-year
low. My broker told me they were about to go up, so I settled. What I
<really> wanted was a place rural enough where I could just mow a fire break
around the house, and let the rest of the land do whatever it wanted to. But
short of hitting the lotto, unlikely I'll ever be high up enough on food
chain to afford that. (Much less waterfront land, but that is a lost dream
for another time...)
on 10/6/2007 7:51 AM Edwin Pawlowski said the following:
I would like to have a perfect lawn, but not as a status symbol. I don't
care if anyone sees it, as long as I do.
It's an aesthetic thing, like keeping your house clean and neat. You
might as well say that having a perfect flower garden is a status symbol.
Besides, there's nothing better than walking barefoot in a well
So you need 10 acres of lawn to walk on barefoot? IMO, if you have that
much you have a status symbol if only to please one person, you. Third of
an acre is plenty to walk on. While I agree that having a well groomed and
neat lawn around the house looks nice, there are alternatives that can looks
just a nice, maybe even more at some times of the year. There is no valid
reason, other than you want to, for dumping chemicals and thousands of
gallons of water just to make it green.
I used to fertilize and water, but then I came to my senses and realized how
silly it was. In the spring I use some fertilizer with weed control on some
of my lawn once a year. The rest is all natural with wild flowers, trees,
ferns, etc. Lovely to look at and watch the wild life that thrives in it.
If you want a nice green lawn, Epsom salts works wonders for a lot less
money than commercial fertilizer. Check the ingredients.
on 10/6/2007 3:23 PM Edwin Pawlowski said the following:
OK, reading my message over again, I don't see all the between-the-lines
text that you seem to have seen.
First, I don't have 10 acres. My plot size is 1 acre. Excluding the
footprints of my 60' x 30' house, 400 sq ft sunroom, 90' long double
wide driveway, brick paver walks, 2-12' x 16' outbuildings (one a tool
shed, the other a pool cabana), and an 18' x 36' in-ground pool with
concrete walkways and gravel surround that has about the same size
footprint of my house, I figure that I may have 2/3 of an acre left to
Secondly, I didn't say anything about using fertilizer or chemicals.
Thirdly, I don't water my lawn at all, unless I plant new grass seed, or
plant a tree or flowers, and some of the water spills over onto the grass.
I only use Epsom salts to soak my feet, so I can walk barefoot on the
nice lawn I wished I had.
Geez, Ed. We've been around these parts for a while. Having a bad day?
But we were talking about the guy with the $30 fill-up for his lawn tractor.
His circumstances are much different than yours but you did not make any
reference to a difference. Why else would you post that you like grass
unless you think he should maintain his large plot? I'm in favor of modest
lawn, but I think huge grass plots are ridiculous.
This is a theory I can't prove, but I think that many people with 30 acre
lawns really belong in city dwellings. I know three people with more than 10
acres. Two of them say they have to keep them looking like golf courses
because otherwise "all sorts of things might live in the (groundcover,
underbrush, other alternative)". Things. All sorts of things. What the hell
did they expect would cohabitate on all that land? Espresso machines?
The third person has 120 acres which used to be farmland. For the 2 acres
around the house, he planted lawn. For the rest, he planted what a
neighboring farmer suggested and he pays someone to mow it down from four
feet high down to a few inches, 2-3 times per year. (I don't recall what he
planted, but I'm curious and I'll be seeing him tomorrow and I'll ask).
"Things" live in this guy's tall grass. His dogs run off the coyotes. The
other "things" are interesting.
on 10/6/2007 11:22 PM Edwin Pawlowski said the following:
My liking to have a nice lawn has nothing to do with what the OP wants,
does, or should do, with his lawn or property, and I never said anything
to the OP other than a joke about self-mowing grass. My comment that
started this was in response to your comment about a perfectly manicured
lawn being a status symbol. I don't play golf, and I think that clearing
acres of woodlands and fields so that a few can knock little balls into
little holes is a waste of time and gas, but it's not my place to tell
them what to do, or not do.
In Hamptonburgh, NY
To email, remove the double zeroes after @
Well, Monsanto has several products that are quite effective in stopping
growth completely... :)
Less watering is the first controlling factor.
Varietal selection would be next. Not knowing where you are makes
specific recommendations impossible but in an area with hot summers and
reasonably sandy soil (red clay is out), buffalo grass makes an almost
ideal lawn with the possible exception that, like Bermuda, it goes
dormant and doesn't stay green over the winter. Unlike Bermuda, while
it spreads similarly to Bermuda, it isn't nearly as agressive in taking
over where it isn't wanted.
As most of the others have posted, your best bet is to switch to a
different grass type. Ongoing chemical treatment won't be cheap.
How big is the lawn area?
Depending on where you live you might get a lot of hassle over any
"non traditional" lawn.
I have a friend who rented a hose with 1.5 acre lawn (typical for the
neighborhood & spent $$$'s per month watering having it mowed, just to
landfill the clippings) They wanted to go to pasture or local
wildflower or natives but the owner & the neighbors would have gone
Maybe this grass could do the job for you
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