Lawn article that will make your eyes bleed

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by twcw5804, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. twcw5804

    twcw5804 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    I found a link to this article on twitter this morning. Very frustrating reading these tree huggers.

    "American lawn care is a multi-billion business responsible for nutrient pollution that has caused the degradation of many American waterways – think of the annual stinking algae blooms in Lake Winnebago – and the decline of wildlife and their habitats.
  2. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,274

    Typical one sided liberal MSNBC loving crap that the uneducated masses lap up like dogs.
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  3. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    not a hateful article...

    FACT...the unregulated gas engines do produce a fair amount of carbon emissions.
    FACT poor applications can contribute to offsite pollution.

    if you see this article as a threat, then you are looking at the wrong way. People do lawns because lawns are easy or they like lawns...

    Most people don't have the vision for a native garden, or a prairie, or a meadow or a perennial set up. Or their HOA won' allow non conforming ideas or They don't see or can't visualize the end result.

    now that I have over half an acre of land... all of which is plantable. I now have some options...My only problem is, I love grass, soft green grass on your bare feet in the summer time. Nothing like it.. And with 4 fert apps, aerations overseed, mowing every 5 days when its growing fast, keeping the leaves from it its truly a labor of love.

    My boss's house is on a 1/4 acre and he has gone 100% grass less. and it looks beautiful. He has staggered his natives,and perennial such that there is always something of interest going on in his yard. he doesn't have to cut his plants every week, but he does need to keep up with keeping things squared away and looking nice.

    If someone came to me and wanted a contract to care for a 100% shrub landscape, IE no grass. I'd do it in a heart beat.
  4. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,274

    Marc, surley you remember the "grassless" lawns here in Florida. Also known as white rock astroturf. Plastic pink flamingos optional. I too love my grass even though I created some pretty big beds this year for FFL. If ferts and pests are properly applied by knowledgeable LCO's there is not a pollution issue. Aren't all gasoline and diesel engines EPA regulated now?
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  5. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    My dad had a white limestone lawn... in his back yard on the ICW. just no pink flamingo's... bunch of palms and Live oaks and hibuscus and other tropical stuff. but he still had grass out front... but that's taking it to the extreme the article was not about ripping up your grass and planting stone. It was about repalce your lawn with some other growing materials..

    I agree that IF ferts and pest are applied properly (whether it be HO or LCO/PCO) you have less issues. But you still have the potential for pollution you are still aplying chemicals to the ground thatmay or may not be used up by the plants. whether it be runoff, it seeps thorught he soil. Florida is critical with that since the sand generally doesn't hold on to to stuff real well.

    Just because they are EPA regulated doesn't mean that they don't pollute. they just pollute less. But the bigger the engine, the more efficient it is..generally.. and the new regs are great for new stuff being produced. that doesn't help out with the pollution from the folks who have 10+ year old murays, JD's crapsmans, ect.. heck I've got a nearly a 20 year old walker...

    I think the article was a nice article and the presentation would be equally as good. The first few paragraphs just set the wrong tone, IMO..

    nothing wrong with these.. (ok the wall needs some help) some nice mixed of smaller grass areas with plantings

    yes it takes some work and some ceative juices...and some risk to step outside the box.

    do a google image search on Front yard you'll see a bunch of different options.. and I think though that there can be a mix of turf with natives, perennials, ect.. Its all about being complimentary..

    but this still looks real good though
  6. tlg

    tlg LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 651

    Sounds like plant prejudice to me. Grass plants vs trees, shrubs, native plants etc.. Last time I checked the all pretty much do the same thing. Remove CO2 and produce oxygen that is. Granted the maintenance of the plants is considerably different as far as frequency and methods are concerned. The fact is the lawn care industry is getting better. Slow release fertilizers, reduced risk pesticides, increased regulation and better education are all helping to create a more earth friendly industry. On the mowing side of the issue I believe we have all ready seen more efficient less polluting equipment being developed. Propane powered mowers is a good example. Technology, economics and demand will dictate what equipment will look like in the years to come. The reality is it will take years for things to change.

    The article raises valid points but it fails to point out the legitimate benefits of turf grass. The aesthetics and environmental value of turf can't be dismissed. That nice looking lawn is an oxygen producer, air filter, water filter, cooling system and a great place for our kids and pets to play. The economics of the lawn care industry are vital to a lot of people. One can only imagine the devastating impact on all of us if it just went away. We do fertilizer and pesticide applications to millions of acres of turf each year. We do our best to reduce or eliminate any negative impact from our operation. Public opinion will be the driving force on environmental stewardship for certain. If we want to stay in business we all will have to understand that. Condemning the industry is just unfair, biased and narrow minded. Mark my words the lawn care industry will adapt and change.
  7. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    Benefits of a healthy lawn
    Among the environmental benefits of a healthy, well-maintained lawn are:
    - A 2,500-square-foot lawn produces enough oxygen for a family of four for a year.
    - One acre of grass produces more oxygen per year than one acre of rainforest.
    - Eight healthy front lawns have the cooling effect of 70 tons of air conditioning, which is enough for 16 average homes.
    - Turf's high growth density nearly eliminates run-off in favor of infiltration, which then increases the amount of water entering the soil.
    - Plush lawns trap smoke particles and more than 12 million tons of dust and dirt annually.

    of course this doesn't tell you how much fert, water, and fuel are used to maintain said turf...IE is is carbon neutral Not putting grass down, but just have to keep things in perspective. a lawn can beautifully coexist with "natural" gardens.
  8. tlg

    tlg LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 651

    Marc those are some pretty good stats. It's too bad the author didn't feel compelled to tell the other side of the story and offer them up for discussion. All to often we see people come out with an irrefutable doctrine of their beliefs without any mention of the possibility of benefits on the other side of the issue. If we are ever to move forward we all must listen to what people are saying on both sides of any concern. My guess is most people want to do whats right with the least amount of negative impact on both sides. Working together we should all be able to achieve what is right and just. Forcing beliefs or trying to sway others without all information is detrimental. It just slows the process to the point where nothing ever changes. Those that are prudent and reasonable understand we have to solve the problems in our industry if we want to survive. If we ignore them we will no doubt be our own demise.
  9. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    tlg you also have to remember the article wasn't really an article but more an "ad" for the discussion

    and the best ad's get the participants "emotional" which it has done so, even an ad that you don't like or care for has done it job by eliciting the emotional response.

    It would be neat if one could figure out if your landscape was a polluter, or a scrubber, based on chemicals used, gasoline used, ect....and then carry that into the entire property. Ie based on your landscape and your home, you pollute Xnumber or you help clean X number.
  10. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,121

    Your post contains a world of wisdom. :clapping::clapping:

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