Saturday, May 21, 2011

Grass is always greener in your neighbors yard

Yes, the grass is always greener in your neighbors yard.

We're in a war with our lawn for almost 16 years now, and we can't say who is winning.
St. Augustine is a bottomless money throwing  pit. This grass requires everything, just like a needy child. There's lots of watering required, but then it doesn't like over watering, fertilizing on a regular basis, pest control certain times of the year, disease control as needed, weed control always, doesn't like too much shade, doesn't like high traffic areas.....
We tried a few different varieties, installed plugs, installed new patches of sod a couple times.
We battled chinch bugs, white grubs, sod web worms, mole crickets, you name it.
We pulled the weeds by hand (and I assure you we're the only ones in the neighborhood doing it),  we threatened them and they didn't stop growing.
We don't like using chemicals, and all other kinds of poisons in our house,  or around our house, but without it this grass is constantly having tantrums. And the result is dead patches in the lawn.

Yes, some neighbors have their thick, lush, green lawns without any problems. Paying these grass maintenance services, and poisoning our environment, poisoning Florida aquifers. I can't escape thinking about the tremendous amounts of chemicals dumped on residential lawns, resort's landscapes, humongous golf courses, and theme parks. Of course, because we're a tourist oriented state,  everything needs to be lush and green through all the year, so it is sprayed around the clock, twelve months a year.

Florida's natural habitat is quite lush, but then every time a new subdivision, theme park, or mall is built everything is whipped away, and planted with non native plants that require more chemicals to be maintained, and more watering to deplete our water reserves.

I don't understand why we can't use what we have, and live more in sync with nature, minimizing our impact, and saving natural resources, particularly water. We're so environmentally unconscious, and I'm afraid that irreversible damage to the nature has already been done.


  1. I have removed all the grass from our yard and replaced it with flowers, herbs, and veggies. sometimes, I wish I just had grass.

  2. It's nice that you can have such a nice garden around the house. I wish we could do the same, but there are all these subdivision rules, what we can and can't do in the yard. Removing the grass and planting a garden is not an option in this case.

  3. Mirjana, you're so right! I live in FL too, but I live in the woods. When I lived in a subdivision it was a constant struggle to keep the grass good. If I had to change something I would now landscape it with natural elements and forget about the grass. There's a food co-op in Dunedin (Pinellas Co) who started the community growing one percent of their yards into organic food crops that then is shared with the community. It might take a while to get it REALLY organic, but it's a start.

  4. They're doing great thing in Dunedin. I just read more about it. Love the idea. I want to plant a garden in the back of my yard, but the only problem is too much shade from my trees, so I have to find out which vegetables can grow in shady areas. It does limit the possibilities.