Some might look at it as being lazy, maybe even cheap, but I like to think it’s being done with the environment in mind.
I’m part of what appears to be a growing segment of the population that’s allowing their lawns to go au natural, nourished not by the sprinkler but rather at the whim of Mother Nature, which means the grass has been a yellowish-brown hue and a little crunchy under foot for much of the summer.
Having come from Greater Vancouver where it rains an awful lot, I was used to cutting the grass pretty much on a weekly basis, from fairly early spring to well into the fall, except for the real dog days of summer. I think I’ve pulled the lawnmower out of the shed three times this year — and I can’t say that I miss the weekly chore.
Living in the Vancouver area, even in one of the sunniest parts of it, I never really had much of a choice when it came to lawn colour, nor did I have to expend any energy to make the grass grow, which are decisions I’m now having to make in Alberta.
I must admit that I’m a little envious when I see a dark green, perfectly manicured lawn, but apparently I’m not sufficiently jealous to follow suit.
In B.C., I was accustomed to a flat rate utility bill, which means I paid a set amount regardless of my water consumption. I was limited, should I have been so inclined, to sprinkling twice a week like the regulations here, but there was no pecuniary consequence had I turned on the tap.
That's obviously not the case here, which I must tell you is a motivating factor. Outlaying money to water the lawn, knowing that it won’t die, it will just go dormant, and will green up once we get some rain, seems like dough that could be better spent elsewhere.
And if the grass doesn’t get watered, it doesn’t grow much, which means the lawnmower stays in the shed, which is another compelling reason to sit on my hands.
If that weren’t enough, there’s also the question of whether keeping the lawn green is the best use of a limited resource. It's clearly down the list of priorities in any jurisdiction, but in an area where water is such a hot button topic, it would seem to be even more frivolous.
I suspect that’s one of the reasons why so many lawns have that brownish tinge and why the Town hasn't had to impose any restrictions beyond its annual watering schedule even though it’s been a hot, dry summer. I imagine others are more concerned about the bottom line or have found that pulling out the sprinkler is more effort than they’re willing to invest.
Whatever your reasons, conservation efforts allow the resource to be stretched and can help keep frightfully expensive infrastructure projects at bay, the Bow River initiative notwithstanding.
And if you need one more reason why watering the lawn isn’t absolutely necessary, remember that in two months, three tops, you won’t be able to see it.