View Full Version : What price the golf course yard?

05-24-2006, 04:36 PM
'Tis that season again, to poison the weeds, poison the bugs, and pour on the fertilizer. Ortho has a new bug juice that guarantees to kill bugs on contact and for a month after application. Yippie! I hate bugs!

I haven't spread any of that crap since I was kid growing up in suburban Cleveland. Plenty of people around here do, though. It seems a peculiar way to spend time and money. Not to mention that everything that runs off the yards ends up in the Penobscot.

Now the Penobscot, with its huge twice-daily flush, is likely not much affected by it, but I wonder about places like the Chesapeake.

Which leads me to my question for you environmental types. Non-point-source pollution from agriculture is a large issue. What about, with all the development of the last twenty years, the run off from lawns?

05-24-2006, 06:50 PM
Indiscriminant poisoning of anything is stupid…
Learn more here

05-24-2006, 07:15 PM
This latest Ortho(for those not attuned, a NA ag chem. company), advertisment really perked up my ears. It shows a typical guy loading the newest bug killer into his broadcast spreader and then goes to the bug's perspective, seeing death raining down, as the man walks his golf-course lawn.

What very weird stuff!

I mowed my lawn for the first time last weekend. It took a bit of doing. The mower wouldn't start, so that was a wrestle. New gas and a scrape of the plug fixed it. As I walked behind I pondered what to mow and what to leave grow. My lawn is smaller than many typical exurban lawns, maybe a sixteenth of an acre.

I was contemplating mowing a patch when a bumblee buzzed me. The patch was full of dandielion. I looked at it, and saw three or four bumblebees sailing around, feeding on the dandies that were in full bloom. Well now, why would I want to mow that!

It appealed, I confess, to my lazy bones, to not mow it.

More seriously. The diversity of a yard let go to field is good for the locals. Maybe not the "property value" locals, but the bugs and the birds and the various critters that make their home there. The perfectly manicured lawn is a weird artifact of a desire to be English gentry, if you want the fact of the matter.

Larry P.
05-24-2006, 07:20 PM
Lawncare is for people who don't own a boat.

Phillip Allen
05-24-2006, 07:26 PM
The bee keepers lawn goes un mowed

05-24-2006, 07:31 PM
I just mowed my lawn. Sure as hell doesn't look like a golf course to me.:rolleyes:

Chris Coose
05-24-2006, 07:49 PM
Ortho has a new bug juice that guarantees to kill bugs on contact and for a month after application.

So it don't wash off in the shower?

Lew Barrett
05-24-2006, 07:59 PM
We don't have a lawn, it's a garden, and when there are aphids, we use soapy water to rid any plant that needs help of them. However, I hesitate to think of the mess I make directly, or indirectly, in caring for the wooden boat we keep in the water. Just the stuff in bottom paint should be enough to make you think twice. Then there's all the other mess that's created. So, unless you want to do your wooden boating in a hollowed out log, you know it's going to have an impact.
And even in the log; well, one less tree. Not disagreeing with the thesis here at all, by the way.


Bob Cleek
05-24-2006, 08:17 PM
If you have a postage stamp sized lawn, you really have to jump through hoops to make it look like a putting green. On the other hand, if you have lots of space, you can let it grow natural and just mow it regularly. I've got about an acre or so in lawn, good crab grass, kept mowed. Most of it is dog runs and exercise and training pens. It looks like a million bucks because there's so much of it. Water comes from my own well, so what goes up, goes down again. No poison, no fertilizer (except for what the dogs leave!) and everything's just fine.

As for the bees, there's another couple of acres for them to buzz on, plus fruit tree blooms and the rest. Poor bees, though. It's about that fungus or whatever that is destroying them all. Last I heard, honeybee numbers were getting critically low in the US. It's having a terrible effect on all the fruit and vegetable crops that depend on bees for pollenization.

05-24-2006, 08:52 PM
When the European honey bee arrived the Indians called it "The white man's fly."

Now, as you say, it's vital, and in decline. But it wasn't part of the great fields of squash and corn and bean that were pre-Columbian Indian spreads.

I like honey. I hope this trespasser gets past this. It really is vital, to the various fruit crops, especially.

05-24-2006, 11:05 PM
yummm....nothin' like raiding a hollow tree honeycomb in the woods...nice clover honey with a hint of sage.....

05-25-2006, 11:09 AM
I say if it is green and covers up the dirt, it is ok. My wife disagrees.

05-25-2006, 11:26 AM
short answer is the nitrogen in fertilizer causes excessive algae blooms , thus threathening natural fish habitats

did you know , a garden lawn mower on a single tank of gas causes more harmful emissions than an SUV

05-25-2006, 12:14 PM
Ok,,later today I'm gonna try the ""I cant mow the lawn because of the pollution" and see if that flies with wifey.

05-25-2006, 12:25 PM

05-25-2006, 12:33 PM
my guess is ornamental lawn grass will eventually become less fashionable if their upkeep is somehow tied upstream to petroleum products and downstream to environmental issues

the chic alternatives will be natural grasses , decorative wheat barley and rye , brick stone and shrub front terraced gardens , mosses and sedges

Paul Pless
05-25-2006, 12:54 PM
the chic alternatives will be natural grasses , decorative wheat barley and rye , brick stone and shrub front terraced gardens , mosses and sedges

you forgot those cheesy assed green aquarium graveled yards that all the retired snowbirds in SunCity,Az have

Evan Showell
05-25-2006, 01:03 PM
One reason to mow and keep the grass fairly short in the northeast is deer ticks. They like longer grasses. If you have kids who play outside in an area in which the deer tick is endemic, it's a no-brainer to keep the grass cut short.

Ever have Lyme disease Jack? If you did, you wouldn't have to think much about keeping the lawn mowed.

Tom Montgomery
05-25-2006, 01:05 PM
My street is in an upscale neighborhood of Victorian houses. One house has a front yard consisting entirely of... uh... well, my Mom would call them "weeds." A homemade sign planted next to the sidewalk reads: "Native plants, wildflowers and hostas for sale." Seems pretty clever to me.

05-25-2006, 01:09 PM
Golf is a Scottish game. They played it before the invention of the lawnmower or "weed 'n' feed".



05-25-2006, 01:17 PM

You're aware the Chinese are now claiming golf as their invention. They've got Ming vases to back it up.LOL.


My mobile tick magnet, aka Catawumpous, hasn't come up with one yet this season. I check her over most every day. I'm sure there will be some. Last I checked lyme disease wasn't much of an issue this far north, but that might have changed.

My main thrust was at the chemicals industry that some people have bought into in an attempt to grow perfect lawns. It's weird.

05-25-2006, 01:22 PM
our soil is naturally acidic , not to mention the lower Ph rain these days so the grass does not need a lot of fertilizer , lime only , but then again the lime pellets come in plastic bags , somedays ya can't win for lose'n

Karl A. Hilbert
05-26-2006, 11:00 AM
I'm more freaked out by the fact that detectable amounts of unmetabolized pharmaceuticals have been found in water supplies having been pissed, then flushed.

05-26-2006, 11:08 AM
they have also found PCB's in Innuit breast milk and dioxans and furans in nested eggs shells down stream from pulp and paper mill effluent

not that these things are particularly good for the natural environment but keep in mind the detection level is very low and the equipment used to find the trace levels is extremely good

i suspect the same types and levels for by-products of chlorination could be found in bumwad if one were to look

Cuyahoga Chuck
05-26-2006, 12:22 PM
Dear Ish,
Here is the latest news from suburban Cleveland.
It has been reported that the dead zone in the Central Basin of Lake Erie (the deep section on either side of Erie PA) is most likely do to run off of excess lawn chemicals, particularly fertilizer. "Chemlawn" has not made a statement on this, yet.
Don't know if you've heard but we have a national park running up the Cuyahoga River from Cleveland to Akron. In places this park is contiguous to both the Brecksville and Bedford reservations of the Metroparks system. This means that there is a tremendous amount of woodlands that have become habitat for various types of wildlife. We now have coyotes, red fox and a lot of Canada geese which aren't too bothersome. But the deer are now more in evidence than the neighborhood dogs and cats. During the winter there appeard a herd of 10 deer on my front lawn. At present I only see 2 or 3 at a time but, a beautiful spotted fawn came gamboling across the road toward my house, yesterday, so I figure the herd is on the increase and my landscaping is going to disappear even faster than last year.
Gotta' go. I hear the local garden center has a spray that will keep my day lillies from disappearing down the throat of some deer.
You got a lot of deer in Bangor?


Bob Cleek
05-26-2006, 01:02 PM
Yea, there's that deer spray. I used it and it really works, although it isn't particularly cheap. Problem is, it smells about as bad as you can imagine. Think "panther piss!"

05-26-2006, 01:02 PM
Cleveland, the only city with a lake that's erie and a tower that's terminal. LOL.

When I was growing up the Cuyahoga caught fire several times. I haven't spent any time there in decades, but I've heard that since much of the manufacturing sector has gone belly up it's a much more copacetic place. No more burning rivers!

I came of age in the metro park's Rocky River Reservation. What great foresight on the part of the city fathers to establish a green zone circling the city. I'd heard about the national park in the Cuyahoga valley, but that was after my time.

The report of a dead zone is just what I'm talking about. There's are similar dead zones off the mouth of the Mississippi, in the Gulf, and in the Chesapeake. So they're saying the one in Lake Erie is due to lawn fertilizer? Last time I was through there Erie had a lot of farmland, too.

P.S. I see deer and tracks all the time around here. Bangor is the only city I've lived in that has "beware of moose" signs on the freeway. Every year about this time someone plows into a love sick moose, usually with bad results for the moose and the occupants of the car.

Cuyahoga Chuck
05-26-2006, 11:26 PM
Dear Ish,
Went off and bought a gallon of "Liquid Fence". $29.95 a gallon. It came with a built in hose and pump sprayer. The spayer plugged up right away and oozed "Liquid Fence" all over my hands. I have washed many times but the smell won't go away. I hope this stuff doesn't keep me awake tonight.
Maybe I should have bought the stuff that was $39.95 a gallon.
Any insight you can contribute would be appreciated.


05-27-2006, 05:02 AM
Well, you've bought it now, so this is moot. But something reputed to work keeping deer at bay is human urine. Cheap and available.LOL.