Posted by Rob, Tom’s of Maine Brand Manager, Citizen Engagement
Guilty admission – I’ve got lawn envy. What’s lawn envy? It’s that uneasy feeling you get when your neighbors’ lawns would make the groundskeeper at a golf course proud, and yours is a crazy mish mash of clover, dandelions, and other things that aren’t turf grass. Yep, I’ve got lawn envy. But the good folks at the Lawn Reform Coalition are giving me the moral support I need to work my way through it.
When my family and I first moved into our home, my lawn was a lot more like my neighbors. But I quickly realized that it had reached this “perfect” state through regular applications of chemical fertilizer and herbicides. I didn’t feel comfortable doing that, so my first step was to go with organic lawn care. I found organic weed control to be a lot more complicated than conventional, and that uneasy feeling crept into my stomach as my lawn was overrun. Then I discovered the Lawn Reform Coalition and realized there was another approach. Maybe the weeds aren’t really the problem. Maybe the problem is I (like many others) have been conditioned to believe that the only good lawn is one that requires constant attention and loads of chemicals. And what do we get in return? The Coalition lists polluted waterways, wasted water, and wasted money as a few of the problems caused by our lawn obsession.
The Coalition is made up of “thirteen gardening and environmental advocates from across the country, all promoting change in the American lawn.” “Change” can take a variety of forms, ranging from organic lawn care to reducing the amount of land dedicated to lawn. I love the Coalition’s website which is educational and chock full of resources for people looking to change up their lawn. I also found the pictures sent in by people who had made the switch to be very inspirational.
One of our local nurseries carried some native plants and I started by replacing a small section of my back yard with a garden of cardinal flower, Black-eyed Susans, and even some blueberries. My plan is to keep expanding these gardens, and in some cases, to just let nature take over and see what happens.
So thanks to the Lawn Reform Coalition to helping me through! The more I read their materials, the more I feel the old way was a lot of work, too many complications, and no real rewards. I’m hoping others will be inspired by the Coalition’s work, as well. Maybe some time in the not-too-distant future, my neighbors will find me relaxing on my lawn of soil-feeding white clover and vibrant dandelions, and experience a little lawn envy of their own.