Grass is Easy

Tired of spraying, fertilizing and raking your lawn? Pushing the lawn mower back and forth, up and down, every single week.  Bored with uninterrupted, endless green?

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Oh how easy it would be to just turn the whole yard over to wild flowers and perennials! 

Not so fast.  Mowing and maintaining that grass may seem monotonous and time consuming, but just how much time does it really take?  Well, lets just look at taking a 10 foot x 10 foot piece of lawn and compare time spent on maintenance to growing something “easy”

Caring for 100 square feet of lawn requires an average of 8 minutes per month during the growing season.

10 minutes per month in spring, 5 minutes per month in summer and 10 minutes per month in fall.

Caring for 100 square feet of trees and shrubs requires an average of 10 minutes per month during the growing season.

20 minutes per month in spring, 5 minutes per month in summer and 5 minutes per month in fall.

Caring for 100 square feet of annuals requires 20 minutes per month during the growing season.

25 minutes per month in spring, 15 minutes per month in summer and 20 minutes per month in fall.

Caring for 100 square feet of perennials requires an average of 60 minutes per month during the growing season.

95 minutes per month in spring, 35 minutes per month in summer and 30 minutes per month in fall.

Obviously none of us have a 100 square foot lot, so these comparisons may not be entirely fair.  But it is an accurate estimation of time if you intend to reduce lawn space by creating gardens.  Your maintenance time for replacing grass with garden can increase by 6 times. 

Let’s assume you have an average city lot of 5,000 square feet.

  • Grass alone will consume 400 minutes per month or 6 hours and 45 minutes.
  • Replace grass with an average amount of gardens, 500 square feet.  Lawn maintenance reduces by 40 minutes but it is replaced with 300 minutes per month.  That is 660 minutes per month or 11 hours!

Pushing the mower and the spreader and the sprayer sounding better?  Well, maybe.  Clearly your gardens can be filled with low maintenance shrubs, ground covers and perennials to reduce that time.  And plants carefully selected for the site conditions, region, and water requirements can help tremendously.  Besides, how can you possibly live without beautiful, colorful and fragrant plants?  The serenity of sitting on a garden bench in the garden?  The stress buster of tending to beautiful flowers?  Not to mention garden fresh tomatoes!

I have said it many times, grass is easy but........

Sharon Dwyer