I watched someone spread grass seed on their lawn recently. It made me realize how odd lawns are. A green lawn has been considered a staple of American homeownership. People spend significant amounts of time and money each year on their lawn’s upkeep. Including things like spreading grass seed. But wait, isn’t grass a plant? Won’t it produce its own seeds which could fall on the ground to grow yet more grass? Yes! Except we don’t let grasses grow tall enough to produce seed, so instead we purchase grass seed at a store and spread it by hand.
We take a plant that could grow and reproduce on its own and chop it short to have an aesthetic appeal, even when there are muddy patches nearby. This idea is a strange relic from an age when lawns signified wealth and the ability to use land for nothing productive. Equally perplexing is that, here in Denver, we use a plant type which is not designed for the semi-arid climate of Colorado.
I’m not the first person to think these thoughts. That’s encouraging though, because there are a good number of resources on alternatives for lawns.
If I decide to one day be a home owner, I’ll take these alternatives into consideration. I remember back to the days of being a kid when I would often mow the family lawn. I hated that chore. There’s no way I want to do that myself now or suffer some young kid the same fate I dreaded.