From the DirtDoctor........

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Lawn Sharks, Nov 18, 2002.

  1. Lawn Sharks

    Lawn Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    Winterize your lawn," the big sign outside the garden store commanded. I've fed it, watered it, mowed it, raked it and watched a lot of it die anyway. Now I'm supposed to winterize it? I hope it's too late. Grass lawns have to be the stupidest thing we've come up with outside of thong swimsuits! We constantly battle dandelions, Queen Anne's lace, thistle, violets, chicory and clover that thrive naturally, so we can grow grass that must be nursed through an annual four-step chemical dependency.

    Imagine the conversation The Creator might have with St. Francis about this:

    "Frank you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there in the Midwest? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect, no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracted butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But all I see are these green rectangles."

    "It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers 'weeds' and went to great extent to kill them and replace them with grass."

    "Grass? But it's so boring. It's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees, only grubs and sod worms. It's temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?"

    "Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn."

    "The spring rains and cool weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy."

    "Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it - sometimes twice a week."

    "They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?"

    "Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags."

    "They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?"

    "No, sir. Just the opposite. They pay to throw it away."

    "Now let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And when it does row, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?"

    "Yes, sir."

    "These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work."

    "You aren't going believe this Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it."

    "What nonsense! At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves form compost to enhance the soil. It's a natural circle of life."

    "You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and have them hauled away."

    "No! What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter and keep the soil moist and loose?"

    "After throwing away your leaves, they go out and buy something they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves."

    "And where do they get this mulch?"

    "They cut down trees and grind them up."

    "Enough! I don't want to think about this anymore. Saint Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?"

    "Dumb and Dumber, Lord. It's a real stupid movie about..."

    "Never mind I think I just heard the whole story."
  2. The Lawn Choupique

    The Lawn Choupique Banned
    Messages: 199

    Hey, that is alright. I guess because it is the truth. I guess if this nation was not so wealthy so as everybody can waste money on something like their lawns we would all be standing in the soup lines. This has got to be one of the reasons that america is so disliked by the rest of the world.
  3. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,405

    Actually, way back during Adam and Eve, the grass was perfect. No weeds, pests,disease, or even drought. Then along came the serpent........and so the ground was cursed.
  4. The Lawn Choupique

    The Lawn Choupique Banned
    Messages: 199

    Man is the only animal that will destroy the enviroment in which he must live.

    That is why the grass cutting business is such easy money.
  5. stevo22

    stevo22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 344

    who said that thong bathing suits were stupid???i personally love looking at a hot babe in one...
  6. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    Did Paul Harvey find our site?

    I think this guy got a hold of some of the grass that you buy and smoke.

    So what type of reaction are we looking for?
  7. Lawn Sharks

    Lawn Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    Not looking for a reaction. Thought it was interesting. Found it at the website. Great site. Plan on listening to his live radio show on Saturday if the wife doesn't have me doing too much.
  8. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I guess I should have directed my comment to the dirtdoctor and not you.

    It has been the trend in the past that when a post as this starts up and the poster quotes another source without explaining a certain reaction is being sought.

    After reading your second response I see you have explained your intent a little further and added a website reference.

    I went and learned more about Dr. Dirt.

    He is an Organic screamer who does have a little misinformation and scare tactics in his postings but what the heck its a free country. God forbid that we use toxic waste in manufacturing synthetic fertilizers. I'm not gonna go any further because the organic vs. synthetic debate has been fought in another place but its interesting and amusing to read some of the stuff.

    As I said I think dr dirt got into some of the bagged grass that you buy from a guy in the alley. ;)
  9. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    Here's a great article form Landscape Management magazine. This should be memorized by all applicators and this knowledge should be extended to our customers. Of course everyone will have their own professional opinion, but this one works for me.
    I don't want to start a debate, this is just an interesting and informative article.

    MADISON, WI — As water quality continues to be an issue in many parts
    of the country, a longtime lawn care operator and a University of Wisconsin
    professor agree that a healthy lawn reduces runoff, which consists of
    phosphorus-rich soil that causes plant growth in lakes and streams.

    Thick, healthy lawns filter out pollutants that would otherwise run into area
    lakes and streams. "Microorganisms that live in the thatch actually break
    down some of the bad inorganic materials that are found in urban runoff,"
    says Terry Kurth, co-owner of Weed Man Lawn Care of Madison.

    Additionally, says Kurth, most professionally maintained lawns are treated
    only with the amount of slow-release product required, so there is little or
    no product runoff. Driveways and other non-grassy surfaces are blown off
    after treatment to ensure that fertilizers don't wash into city sewers.

    Wayne Kussow, Ph.D., turf specialist at the University of Wisconsin,
    recently completed a six-year study of nutrient losses from urban Kentucky
    bluegrass lawns.

    "When the lawn was not fertilized for two years, the grass thinned out so
    much that the amount of runoff water increased 176 percent," said Kussow
    of his findings. While a common assumption is that the phosphorus in
    water runoff water comes from fertilizer and soil, Kussow found that 72
    percent of the phosphorus runoff water was collected from December
    through the period of snow melt, concluding that plant tissue is a significant
    source of phosphorus in runoff water from urban and agricultural

    "The end result was that the amount of phosphorus lost via runoff from the
    unfertilized lawn was more than double the loss from fertilized turf. Thus,
    lesson number two from this research is that fertilizing to maintain healthy,
    dense lawns is far more environmentally friendly than not applying
    fertilizer," he added.

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