Grass is stupid



No, I'm not talking about wacky weed — I'm talking about your lawn. It's stupid.

Do you have any idea why we have lawns? I ask because most people don't realize keeping a lawn is something that dates back to the lord and serf days when only the wealthy could afford lawns ... and the labor force to maintain them.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I have a huge lawn (it's about a half acre) ... but I'm working to remedy that. A couple years ago, my husband and I began work on what we call "the forest." We've planted a couple dozen trees, several bushes and we've turned under a huge "island" where we're now working with neighbors on a multi-family garden.

And we're not going to stop there. If I have my way about it, one day the only grass left in our yard will be trails to other non-grassy areas. Eventually, again -- if I get my way, even those areas will get covered in gravel.

So, why do I detest grass? I've got several good reasons:

You have to trim it and you have to trim it often. Since I refuse to cut the grass (because it's stupid) and because we would rather do other things with our time in general, we pay a lawn service roughly $80-120 per month to trim our lawn for us. Seriously, that adds up. I would much rather spend that dough on something else. Wouldn't you?

Not only is trimming your stupid grass pricey, if we don't trim our grass enough we get a nasty gram from our home owner's association. WTF, over?

And! Not only do you have to trim grass, you have to feed it — assuming you don't want it to look like crap and get taken over by clover and other weeds. Problem is, most of the grass fertilizer products on the market are horrible for our river — where we get our drinking water and the water that keeps area businesses running.

Now, you might wonder why I am connecting my lawn with our river. It's simple: When it rains, water pours off of our lawn into a drain that first hangs out in a holding pond before entering a stream that makes its way into our river. The chemicals in fertilizer create all kinds of havoc all along the way. These chemicals can mess with the river's pH balance and oxygen levels, harm or kill fish and, ultimately, cause health problems in humans.

Really, do you want to drink fertilizer? I didn't think so.

Speaking of water, lawns like it. They like it a lot. In a time when water wars are sparking across the globe, do we really want to waste fresh water on grass? I don't.  In fact, I won't even use the water from our rain barrels on our lawn. As far as I'm concerned, if it dies it dies.

Of course, it is true that lawns can be pretty ... and we humans love pretty stuff, don't we? It's also true that grass' root structure can keep soil in place so that it, too, won't wash away into our river.

However, trees, flowers, bushes ... they all have roots. More, these days it's not difficult to find drought-resistant and drought-tolerant trees, shrubs and flowers that won't require regular watering. And, guess what? They're prettier! And, bonus: Many woody varieties are better at absorbing water run-off than grass is. Double bonus: Not only do they suck up water, they often suck up the pollutants contained in the water. Kick ass!

I'm not the only person in Charlotte who thinks grass is stupid. Check out this article from The Charlotte Observer: Charlotte's grass-roots battle, by Bruce Henderson.

Bruce's article brings up a few more reasons why grass is stupid. For instance, did you realize this: "An hour of mowing," according to Connie Harris, "emits as much pollution as driving a car 650 miles"?

That is nuts.

I rest my case: Grass is stupid. It's high-maintenance, expensive and a danger to our environment. I say we break up with grass and plant trees. Who's with me?

Not with me yet? Watch this:

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