Lawn Busting is the process of taking your lawn from grass covered to plant covered. There are many different terms floating around right now - "grow don't mow," "lawns to gardens," "food not lawns" and other terms/sayings - that have the same idea.
So why? What's the difference between grass and plants? Why are plants "greener" in some people's eyes than grass? There are several reasons.
- Nothing to mow. Unless you are using a push mower, you are using fuel/energy to mow your lawn. I've read that running a gas mower for just one hour produces as much pollution as eight cars driving at 55mph for that same hours. Wow. That's a lot. Getting rid of the majority of grass on a lawn and using a push mower to mow what is left, can get rid of a lot of pollution.
- Fertilizing lawns with chemicals is killing our planet. There is a high price to be paid for lush, green lawns. The chemicals used to keep them looking perfect are harming wildlife, children, our water ways and who knows what else.
- Native plants are good for the environment. Part of replacing lawns with plants has to do with purposely planting native plants that don't need to be watered much. Plants that are native to the particular region you live in are native for a reason. The amount of rain that typically fall in that region and the type of soil are ideal for those plants. That means a lot less watering to keep the plants alive.
It also means that native wildlife will have a place that is ideal for them to hang out.
- Planting organic food gardens instead of grass helps people to become self sustaining and nourishes the earth. When food comes from your own backyard instead of the grocery store, lots of good things happen. You get fresh, healthy delicious food without having to hop in your car (which uses fuel and creates pollution) to get it. You inspire your neighbors to plant gardens, too (at least this has been my experience). You keep trash out of landfills (no packaging to throw away). Organic gardeners frequently replenish the soil with healthy compost instead of leaching the soil of its nutrients. The list could go on.
We turned a nice chunk of the backyard into a veg garden this summer. I anticipate turning another back portion into a strawberry patch next year. As the boys get bigger and don't need as much room to run around, we'll slowly turn more of our yard into garden - both veg and other plants. My husband may even agree to get a push mower.