Welcome to 'Attic of the Heart'!

Welcome from north-central Connecticut! In this blog I will share whatever is in my heart, on my mind, or something interesting I've found to share. Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lawn care, drought, and chemicals...

(The above pic is our lawn 2 years ago, about the same time.  It's not nearly that lush right now because of our dry spring)

The lawn care people were just here. They come every spring, spreading fertilizer and pre-emerge.  It's not my idea.  It's my landlady's.
If it were up to me, I would be carefully researching my options, and doing whatever I could organically.  I'm even open to a fine layer of composted manure applied at the right time.
I was thinking...I miss seeing white clover in my yard.  Not that it was ever here, but I do remember it in yards where I lived previously. Most people like to get rid of it, because it isn't grass, but I remember how sweet it smelled on a summer day.  And the buzzing of busy bees.
Which brings me to this thought:  Just think how many lawns across America are cloverless, dandilionless, plus all the other little flowering things?  And we wonder where the bees are?  Why they are dying, or why we have to bring them in to orchards, etc.
Not saying this is the complete cause, but I'm sure it does factor in, since the last 50 years or so of chemical lawn care.  It's a huge industry, at least here it is.  With applications up to 4 times a year, that can really add up. And I won't even get into industrial applications on farms, golf courses, etc...
I was thinking about tilling up some lawn for a garden, but now?  I don't think so.  No telling how much residual chemical lies in my lawn.  Do a search on Roundup, you might be surprised.
I just know that each year when the chemical lawn man shows up, I am frustrated by my lack of say in this decision.  I can't wait to have my own lawn.  And I just hope it hasn't been subjected to years of chemicals.
I just had another depressing thought:  But what about my neighbors?? What about runoff? Is it possible that the rain can bring the chemicals from across the road and down our front lawn? (we are downhill) Is it affecting my water supply? What about the marsh out back?

All these are things we should consider  for both ourselves, and our neighbors, when we make a decision to treat our lawns.  We are to consider our neighbors...and make responsible decisions.
Speaking of lawns, I was reading recently about how much water it takes to maintain these beautiful lawns.  This is of special concern to me, and others who are drought stricken at this time.  I am already watching my water consumption due to a very dry winter and spring, and it's only April.  I know my well can run dry during a real dry spell if I do laundry and water my flowers on the same day.
I wrote about this before, how I save and use my kitchen wash water on my plants, by saving the water I wash my veggies in.  Amazing and terrible how much good clean water we pour down the drain. We take so much for granted here in America - our good clean plentiful running water.  Our indoor flush toilets - flushing after every visit, instead of every 2 or 3rd.  Running the faucet full tilt while brushing our teeth.  I've adopted these conservative measures myself, and my next plan is for rain barrels, so I don't have to use my good clean well water.
I sometimes get a bit upset when I see the neighbors down the road with their beautiful weedless lawns maintained by underground sprinklers that run EVERY DAY, and wonder, does this affect my well?  How do we know?  How can we know if we are on the same vein underground?  Maybe not, but it irks me that they run water like it's always going to be there, and I worry about my well running dry and whether I should water the few flowers that I have.
It's dry everywhere here, and we should all have a concern about this.  We should all be doing our part.  Just read about Texas and their drought.  How the towns haven't been doing enough to conserve water, and how worried they are about running out.  Actually running out of water.
I even read that a number of people are getting wells drilled that are already on town water, and how the towns may have to limit the number of permits for these wells.  Can you imagine being denied a permit to drill a well??
All because we didn't have enough foresight, or perhaps it's more than that, maybe it's a lack of discipline.  We just don't want to have to be the ones to give up anything or change our lifestyle...

And this was going to be a very short post.  Sigh. :0)
Let me just end this by saying that my mindset has been slowly changing over the last couple of years.  Between reading survivalblog.com, Mother Earth News, the weather channel, CNN, and a few other magazines and websites, I feel I am becoming more educated (and woke up!) on things I didn't use to worry about.
Top that off with our 7 day power outage last October, which REALLY woke us up and made us think, I am glad that I am thinking differently.  And it's not just me.  I overhear conversations in restaurants and stores discussing these things.  Lets just say that when 800,000 people are without power for several days at a time, people start to think about things they've never before considered.

Well, gotta run.  Laundry is calling.
Thanks for listening.  Think about these things.  Read up on them.  Make wise decisions.