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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Weeds in the Lawn Can Be a Good Thing

Ok - I admit it, I was a bit of a lawn snob. In fact, when we first moved in to this house two years ago, I signed a contract with a lawncare company to come and spray or sprinkle various fertilizers, fungicides and insecticides on the lawn in my quest for the lushest, greenest lawn in the neighborhood.

When the lawn all but upped and died during last year's drought, in spite of the hundreds of dollars I had spent on it -- not from lack of water, by the way, but from ROOT  ROT from my overwatering!!! -- I placed a call to the aforementioned lawncare company and cancelled our service.

My fellow garden bloggers may take the credit for turning me in to a more natural and organic gardener.  I haven't yet read Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, but there were various blog posts in February and March which opened my eyes to the dangers of the use of chemicals in the garden.

And while I still like lawn and will probably always have lawn, I'm more casual about it now. Yes, I frowned back in February when the first things to start greening up in the garden were the WEEDS.... 

... but, in a turnaround for me, I didn't grab a large bag of Weed n Feed and hit the garden with it as I would have done in previous years.

Seeing the various feathered visitors pecking around in the lawn, I was glad I had chosen not to spread harmful poisons out there.

Pulling weeds is now a therapeutic form of exercise for me. I don't get them all, by any means, but I get a lot of them and those I don't get to are mowed before they can set seed.   The good thing is that now the lawn itself has greened-up (is that a word?), hey, the weeds aren't so obvious!

I've discovered one more advantage to not using herbicides and insectides on the lawn.  I'm seeing more beneficial insects now, such as the ladybug below.  Notice that she's not on the St. Augustine, she's on a weed.

And this butterfly - an American Lady, I think - is on another weed (which I've been fighting a losing battle with)

So maybe these weeds in the lawn aren't such a bad thing...

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.


Pam/Digging said...

Congrats on ditching the weed-and-feed, Jayne. Your lawn will be healthier, as will the creatures that visit your garden.

Kathleen Scott said...

Fabulous learning, Jayne! All true.

Jayne said...

Thanks Kathleen and Pam.