The English lawn is so simple, and yet it takes a lot of maintenance to make it look so good. Supposedly, that was part of the point originally - the manicured lawn was more prestigious than the one nibbled by sheep or other livestock. When we moved to our current residence we inherited a gorgeous lawn that was the result of rather a lot of chemicals, and vast amounts of watering. The previous owner's liberal use of weedkillers created a monoculture that has been easy to maintain without resorting to chemicals. Despite the size of the lawn, we now dig dandelions out one by one rather than poisoning them.
We have very little topsoil - dig an inch or so down and there's nothing but sand, so it drains extremely fast and is very dry. Trying to get a nice green lawn is completely dependent on the sprinkler system, though we run it less often than the previous owner. Because of the weather, we haven't had to run the sprinklers more than a few days so far this year. (Yay! Smaller water bill!) The grass has been growing rampant, but has been too wet to mow as often as we would have liked. (Yay! Less spent on fuel for the mower!) Because of the damp, a new species has invaded the lawn that we haven't had to deal with before:
If I were braver, I would look this fungus up and try to determine if it's edible, because there's enough out there in the back yard for several meals, but I'm too scared I'll simply poison us all!
In the long run though, at least some of the lawn needs to go. We need a real vegetable garden. The kids are loving their garden on the front porch, but I think our choice of plants was ill-advised for container gardening! It's beginning to look like a jungle out there!
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