Less lawns makes for greener gardens

Wed, Aug 25, 2021

Climate Change Gardening

Reducing the size of your lawn is the path to a greener garden.With increasing pressure on water supplies and the need to reduce carbon emissions,  reducing our lawns – or maybe getting rid of them completely –  is becoming an extremely topical issue. In the USA, 58 million Americans spend £30 billion a year maintaining over 25 million acres of lawn. Add  a staggering 3 million tons of fertilisers and you can see why the move to reduce the number of lawns is really gathering momentum in America.

This includes a national campaign  at http://www.foodnotlawns.com which is attracting interest from the green movement and equal amounts of  opposition from parties with a vested interest in the supply of turf and garden chemicals.

 English gardens are defined by their immaculate lawns but these few facts to help decide whether your lawn stays or goes:

*  The pollution emitted from a power mower in just one hour is equal to the amount from a car being driven 45 miles. http://www.epa.gov/greenacres/wildones/handbk/wo8.html

*Lawns use ten times as many chemicals per acre as industrial farmland. Some 60% of all fertilisers and pesticides used on lawns run off into our groundwater and evaporate into the air, causing widespread pollution

* Lawns in the United States consume around 270 billion gallons of water a week—enough to water 81 million acres of organic vegetables, all summer long.In fact, lawns use more equipment, labour, fuel, and agricultural toxins than industrial farming, making lawns the largest agricultural sector in the United States.

* It’s not just the residential lawns that are wasted on grass. There are around 700,000 athletic grounds and 14,500 golf courses in the United States, many of which used to be fertile, productive farmland that was lost to developers when the local markets bottomed out.



Plant a hedge

    . The least-used parts of your lawn are most likely on the edge of your property. Create privacy and visual interest by planting a “tapestry hedge” with mixed shrubs.

  • Build a pond, patio, or island bed in the center of your lawn. Create a visual focal point, a place for entertaining, or a habitat for attracting wildlife.
  • Create a tree island. If you have one or more trees in the middle of your yard, chances are the grass that grows underneath isn’t that healthy. Why not plant ground cover, perennials, or woodland plants under your tree instead?
  • Devote part of your yard to wildflowers, drought-tolerant grasses, and other native plantings.
  • Practice xeriscaping using plants to replace part of your water-hungry lawn

Explore this web-site for more inspirational ideas http://www.lesslawn.com/

This post was written by:

- who has written 872 posts on My Climate Change Garden.

I am not an experienced gardener - more of an enthusiastic amateur who learns by trial and error and who is keen to "manage" the effects of shifting weather patterns on my garden. Writing this blog is my passion and it has evolved over 12 years to inspire engagement with climate change outside our back doors, in our personal gardens and green spaces. My mission is to fertilise and expand this platform to grow a community of global gardeners communicating about the effects of climate change on our plants and exploring how each individual can make small changes in our lives to become more sustainable. The future of our gardens and #OurPlanet is in our hands - please plant your own seeds for our collective sustainable future.

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1 Comments For This Post

  1. Melany Says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Our addiction to the ‘green carpet’ is truly amazing. I live in Seattle where the summers are droughty and lawns become tan colored in July. For aesthetic reasons (?!) many folks spray paint their brown lawns green (don’t it make your brown eyes blue?) while others install Astro turf. My husband and I have decided to let our little patch of lawn in the city grow wild. For this, we are rewarded with edible weeds, food for birds, browse for our goats, and soft grass for our toes. I sure hope this move towards abandoning lawns grows, thank you for writing about it!