An article in the New York Post today complains about "those perfectly manicured, brilliantly green lawns that surround many Hamptons mansions." What's the problem? They leach nitrogenous waste into our groundwater. Nitrogen then feeds algae, causing blooms that choke sea life. Our marshes are losing their eelgrass, which makes Long Island more prone to flooding.
To keep our water healthy, what about planting a meadow to replace some of your lawn? It's less work—no weekly mowing, watering, fertilizing. It's hip (New York's High Line, for example, has sections devoted to meadow plantings). It's beautiful. And it's earth friendly. Not only do native grasslands not leach fertilizer into our groundwater, they provide a habitat for wildlife. Pollinators like bees and butterflies (also needed for agriculture), songbirds, insects, amphibians all can thrive, as can our native vegetation.
Ah, you say, but what about ticks? Tall grass is full of deer ticks. The answer is to mow your meadow twice a year, in late spring and the fall. The late spring mowing would occur during breeding time for the tick, giving it no long grass in which to lay eggs. The fall mowing exposes any ticks and also spreads wildflower seeds.
Go for it! You'll be surprised how beautiful native grasses and flowers will look on your property.
· 'Toxic' Hamptons lawns slammed by environmentalists [NYP]