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Old 06-06-11, 11:35 AM   #11
Wonderboy
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RobertSmalls,

Although organic methods can be effective, they will doubly difficult to use against something that doesn't happen in nature. Creating a monoculture lawn takes a lot of energy, whether it be human energy or chemical energy. You know of course the repercussions of using the latter, but I'd see the active use of organic methods to grow anything but food or flowers as a complete waste of time. Try to reduce the amount of lawn you have to mow down to zero if you don't plan on playing badminton on it or something... then you can put as much time into what would've been your lawn and get food and/or something more beautiful out of it (which, btw, that picture looks pretty cool to me. I wish more lawns looked like that) instead of something you just step on a few times a year when you mow.

Landlords can be a problem though and I know where you're coming from....you should buy a house! They're real cheap in Buffalo - can't be that much more than a house in Binghamton, where you can find decent 2 family houses for $40k. I don't make a lot of money and was pre-approved for a mortgage on basically any house I can find here. Do it!

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Old 06-06-11, 07:34 PM   #12
RobertSmalls
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderboy View Post
Landlords can be a problem though and I know where you're coming from....you should buy a house!
I'm looking around. The question is, what do I want in a house, and where do I want it to be located?

The landlord has the downstairs apartment rented again, so he no longer cares about the lawn. Interestingly, the new neighbors downstairs seem like the kind of people who can accept a weedy lawn if they know it's organic.

I commented about herbicide in the groundwater. That doesn't have to be a concern, if you pick the right herbicide. 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia seems like a pretty safe choice, among effective selective herbicides. It's a synthetic plant horomone that causes broad-leafed plants to grow too quickly and die. If I had to pick an herbicide, I'd use this one. It's toxic in sufficiently large doses, and the "chloro" in the title is disconcerting, but with a large LD50 and a short half-life (7-15 days, less in water), it's not too bad.

Tim, renting a goat sounds really cool. I don't know of anyone in the area with anything smaller than a cow, though. Well, except the guy on the street who has a pet pot-bellied pig, but I don't know him well enough to borrow his pet.
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Old 06-06-11, 10:26 PM   #13
Blue Fox
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A pot bellied pig would dig it all up for you, eat the bugs and then you could rake it and reseed - and he would fertilize it all at the same time - now there's a viable organic option!
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Old 06-09-11, 10:12 AM   #14
Weed Dog
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Perhaps your landlord could be persuaded that a “test bed” of native grasses in one corner of the back yard is reasonable. You might even segregate the test bed from the lawn with some type of border to signal that the test bed is deliberate and not merely unmowed lawn or a neglected garden. Native plants have often (like those plants we tend to classify as “weeds”) evolved deeper rooting structures, so they thrive when grass needs watering. (Now there's an argument to make to your landlord: Native grasses will lower the water bill.) The native corner might attract some colorful insects too, which, along with the flowering portions of the plants, provide visual entertainment. Hmmm...might even divert attention from the rest of the lawn(!)

This could reduce the amount of “traditional” lawn that demands monocultural rigidity and intolerance of diversity. (Quoted from, “The Social Science of American Lawn Care.”)

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