Saving the bees used to be a regular part of lawn care. I remember planting grass seed with my Dad as a little girl. I studied the bag carefully and noticed that written across the bottom was the phrase “with clover.” The grass seed had clover mixed in as a way of fixing nitrogen to the soil. Clover helped make a lawn healthy and green, that was common knowledge. Our grass was always green, sprinkled with beautiful white and purple clover flowers and filled with yellow dandelion blooms. We would run through the grass searching for white dandelion seed heads that were full of wishes. You know the type, white and fluffy…just waiting for someone to wish on.
I’m not sure when the lawn and garden culture changed and grass seed started coming without clover. Dandelions, clover and other healthy green “weeds” suddenly became the enemy. An enemy so hated that people are willing to hose their lawns down with dangerous herbicides and pesticides to get rid of them. Is it considered affluent to have a “weed” free lawn? Does spraying your lawn with chemicals including roundup, which has been proven to be linked to Parkinson’s disease, somehow make you a better homeowner? It creates a soil that weeds can’t survive in, bugs die in and worms are virtually non-existent In my opinion, it makes you a terrible neighbor and a hazard to our planet!
Living in the country we embrace our weeds. Our lawn is green, greener in fact then the lawns of those who grow a single type of grass and periodically have it hosed down with toxic chemicals. In fact, their lawns are full of brown patches and stringy grass…while our lawn, full of weeds, is lush and green nearly year round…without any intervention from us at all. My children run and play, lay in the grass and hold worms in their hands. I never worry about lawn and garden chemicals harming them, we simply don’t use them.
Due to not using chemicals on our lawn, when we plant our garden it’s easy to see the life in our soil. Upon sticking the shovel into the soil notice a myriad of life: Worms, bugs, ants, spiders and grubs provide an endless source of learning and entertainment for my boys…and frankly for me too! I know the banana peels I’m mixing in, the leaves that I composted two seasons ago, and the coffee grounds from this morning’s brew are all contributing to this life.