News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2007


Itís time to join the grass huggers

Agricultural experts advise against mowing your lawn during an extreme drought.

Iím finding it rather easy to follow that advice.

Instead of exposing an extra-crispy yard to abuse, I pour a big Diet Coke, turn on the TV and recline in the air-conditioned comfort of the living room.

Itís my way of showing tender loving care to the lawn.

I have consistently maintained my drought-stricken yard by not mowing it for about six weeks, other than knocking down a few stray weeds.

When it comes to droughts and lawns, the best policy is to live and let live.

Friends say they are watering their lawns this summer, but, as I explain to them, irrigation is bad for a yard during a drought.

It has been my experience that irrigated lawns grow. Then they have to be cut. Because watered lawns grow and have to be mowed, and mowing is not good during a drought, then irrigation must be bad for your lawn.

The side benefit of leaving your lawn alone is monetary. Youíll save on water and gasoline. This doesnít include what youíll save in mower maintenance. If you never use your mower, you never have to repair it.

Also, youíll do your part to reduce this nationís dependence on foreign oil. All great Americans should leave their mowers in the garage. Itís good for the country. Itís the right thing to do.

Plus, itís better for the environment. Letís all become grass huggers.

Judging by the severity of this summerís drought, it may be time for Southerners to replace Bermuda with prairie grass and azaleas with cactus.

Or better yet, we could go fake. Last week, The Decatur Daily had an article that said some folks are installing synthetic grass.

You can get plastic rye, monofilament fescue and other varieties. Itís allergy-free and guaranteed not to fade, regardless of the severity of the drought. It looks great with vinyl siding, too.

Most importantly, fake grass doesnít grow!

Artificial turf certainly sounds enticing. Instead of your wife saying, ďHoney, the lawn needs mowing,Ē you could say ďHoney, the lawn needs vacuuming.Ē

Being Southerners, however, maybe we should return to the days of swept yards. Swept yards used to be a sign of a well-kept home. My grandmother swept hers with a big straw broom.

Donít laugh.

She also kept free-range chickens and look how trendy theyíve become.

Scott Morris is managing editor.

Scott Morris Scott Morris
DAILY City Editor

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