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So What's Up with Americans and Their Lawns??

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So What's Up with Americans and Their Lawns??

Old 05-05-04, 12:02 AM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by Ranger
JUst got her mowed tonight. Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice...... Oh yeah, and the avatar....sure it is a car.........with a bike on the back of it.

The water is free, BTW, I have an irrigation well just for watering the lawn. My only cost is for 5 bags of Scotts Fertilizer per year. Around $40.
OK, just curious, how much for the electricity to run the pump in the well?
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Old 05-05-04, 12:48 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by randya
If you live in a house, chances are you've got a lawn. I find my lawn a necessary evil and mow it the minimal amount of times necessary to keep things looking nice when the grass is growing, and then let it go brown in the summer. IMO grass is a nasty weed that gets into the flower beds and other places it is not wanted, and that I'm highly allergic too. But millions of Americans lavish all this money and attention on their lawns, for what? It's a waste of waterand requires poisons (fertilizer, hebicide, *chem lawn*, etc.) and noisy, dirty, dangerous mowers. Do suburban lawns metaphorically represent the greatness of America? Our vestigal ties to and longings for Mother England, where the lawn originated? A way to get away from the wife and kids? It all seems kind of silly to me...Please help me out here!
Well my parents and I have lived here these last 42 years without a front lawn due to some quirk of my father but I still think the ivy we had before was a heck of a lot better than the stuff we now have (including the old Jacaranda tree that has survived the ages), but we do have what you might call a lawn in the back yard even though it's pretty ratty under the big tree that gives us shade in the summertime. Also, with the advent of our neighbors efforts to make their homes even more beautiful, I can see that landscapers have become a necessary evil to those who deem it worthy of their hard-earned money.
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Old 05-05-04, 10:18 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Ranger

4. It is a nice area for family gatherings and for the kids to play. It is great for outdoor sports and walking around barefoot.
My grandmother laid her entire yard in stone with strategically placed flower beds. It looked GREAT. and as you say "it was a nice area for family gatherings, etc".
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Old 05-05-04, 12:40 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by randya
OK, just curious, how much for the electricity to run the pump in the well?

I figure it costs me about 7 cents per hour of operation. If I ran it every day for an hour, 365 days a year, it would cost me about $25.50 per year to operate. Obviosly I don't run it that much probably more like 150 hours per year so that would run me $10.50 per year to have abundant water for my lawn.

Obviously the cost is not in the electricity. The cost is in installing the well-sprinkler system. I have already paid for the well in savings vs. city water. That again isn't really a cost when you figure that since installing the well, and planting the lawn as well as painting the house, my property value assessment has risen 35% since i moved in 5 years ago. IOW, my house is worth 35% more according to the county appraiser then before i did the lawn and put a new coat of paint on.

There is why you put in a lawn!!!!
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Old 05-05-04, 02:09 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Ranger
I figure it costs me about 7 cents per hour of operation. If I ran it every day for an hour, 365 days a year, it would cost me about $25.50 per year to operate. Obviosly I don't run it that much probably more like 150 hours per year so that would run me $10.50 per year to have abundant water for my lawn.

Obviously the cost is not in the electricity. The cost is in installing the well-sprinkler system. I have already paid for the well in savings vs. city water. That again isn't really a cost when you figure that since installing the well, and planting the lawn as well as painting the house, my property value assessment has risen 35% since i moved in 5 years ago. IOW, my house is worth 35% more according to the county appraiser then before i did the lawn and put a new coat of paint on.

There is why you put in a lawn!!!!
How long are you planning on living in your house? Is this a "starter" house for you; are you planning to "move up" in the near future (5 years or so).

We bought our house for 160,000 ten years ago. We would probably get 400,000+ if we sold it now (especially with the new patio/roof)--housing/land values are absolutely nuts around here. This would be nice if we were going to sell now, but it is a pain in the butt since we are planning to stay here for keeps and are waiting for "the other shoe to drop" when the county assessor catches up with us. It may get rough when we hit retirement and have to start living on more of a fixed income.
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Old 05-05-04, 06:55 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by foehn
How long are you planning on living in your house? Is this a "starter" house for you; are you planning to "move up" in the near future (5 years or so).

We bought our house for 160,000 ten years ago. We would probably get 400,000+ if we sold it now (especially with the new patio/roof)--housing/land values are absolutely nuts around here. This would be nice if we were going to sell now, but it is a pain in the butt since we are planning to stay here for keeps and are waiting for "the other shoe to drop" when the county assessor catches up with us. It may get rough when we hit retirement and have to start living on more of a fixed income.
Actually I am planning to sell it and buy a nice touring bike and maybe a tent. I haven't told the wife and kids yet.
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Old 05-05-04, 08:21 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Ranger
Actually I am planning to sell it and buy a nice touring bike and maybe a tent. I haven't told the wife and kids yet.
Man do I sometimes wish. Only I'd take my husband and leave the kids with someone in our family!
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Old 05-05-04, 08:30 PM
  #58  
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I've got three acres, heeeeeeeeelllllp meeeeeeee instead of arguing against each others
Hell, that feels good
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Old 05-05-04, 08:45 PM
  #59  
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Cycliste, get one of these. I have an ancient version of this thing and can rip though 1.5 acres(33 trees) in less than two hours.
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Old 05-05-04, 10:47 PM
  #60  
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If you are going to dump money down on a lawn tractor John Deere is the way to go.
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Old 05-05-04, 11:11 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck
Cycliste, get one of these. I have an ancient version of this thing and can rip though 1.5 acres(33 trees) in less than two hours.
Is there a pedal-powered version of that beast available??
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Old 05-06-04, 08:56 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by randya
Is there a pedal-powered version of that beast available??
Ha ha, gotta have titanium blades for that. Thanks Rev, I'll take a note. For the moment I hire someone who is been cutting this lawn for the last twenty years or so and they are reasonable.
I agree with some of the comments in this thread, some people get carried away with their lawns, not mentioning the waste of natural resources, just cut the grass and let it go brown once in a while
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Old 05-06-04, 10:56 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Cycliste
...just cut the grass and let it go brown once in a while
Amen, brother! I also leave the clippings where they fall, aerate about once every 5 years, and pull the most aggregious dandelions, but that's about it....
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Old 05-06-04, 12:20 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Hunter
If you are going to dump money down on a lawn tractor John Deere is the way to go.

Or you could get a couple of those miniature sheep. Small, good fertilizer (very small) and if you are really industrious you could make sure you get a female (ewe) and maybe get some milk for "boutique" home-made sheep milk cheese!
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Old 05-06-04, 02:36 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by foehn
Or you could get a couple of those miniature sheep. Small, good fertilizer (very small) and if you are really industrious you could make sure you get a female (ewe) and maybe get some milk for "boutique" home-made sheep milk cheese!
Don't laugh, I was actually thinking of hiring these guys' services ----> "Sheep, an old fashion technique for tending open land" (they're in my area).
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Old 05-06-04, 02:37 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by Cycliste
Don't laugh, I was actually thinking of hiring these guys' services ----> "Sheep, an old fashion technique for tending open land" (they're in my area).
no motors or pedals, just mouths...
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Old 05-06-04, 03:34 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Ranger
<snip> my property value assessment has risen 35% since i moved in 5 years ago. IOW, my house is worth 35% more according to the county appraiser then before i did the lawn and put a new coat of paint on.

There is why you put in a lawn!!!!
Curious statement.

Do you honestly believe that your 35% increase in appraised value is just because of the lawn and paint? Is there really no other factors that can be attributed to the the increase? I'd find it very hard to believe that the lawn and paint can raise value by $35K.

A friend and I play with fix-up houses on the side. A fresh coat of paint inside and out always adds a bit of value to the house (costs us about $500, and returns about $5K on a $120-$160K house). A good looking lawn gets us no return on investment (ROI) in Denver, though this may be different in wetter areas.

Personally, I don't really need a lawn. When I have kids I might like a bit of lawn for backyard cricket, but right now I'd rather a nice garden with a well designed paved entertaining area. It suits my requirements far better than a lawn.
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Old 05-07-04, 05:13 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Cycliste
Don't laugh, I was actually thinking of hiring these guys' services ----> "Sheep, an old fashion technique for tending open land" (they're in my area).
Out here in southern california, goats are getting more popular for hillside brush clearing. They can get up to clear steep hillsides where it would be very hard to have a crew of people clear.

For years in the pomona valley area, big herds of sheep have been trucked in to graze off large open lots of land. I was always nice to see the sheep out in the green winter and spring fields(the only time they are green!). Sadly now, most of the valley is being built out with houses and such, so we don't see sheep very often very close to where I live.

My father worked for a local city and the city bought some goats to keep on their water-pump station lots. Someones loose dogs got in one night and killed them all!
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Old 05-07-04, 06:42 PM
  #69  
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Goats can be hard on everything else in the yard, trees, bushes, vinyl siding, car bumpers, etc. They will also eat grass down to dirt.
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Old 05-08-04, 10:41 PM
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I spend very little time on our lawn. No fertilizer, no herbicides, no pesticides, no watering at all. I haven't even cut it this year. I soon will. The grass is cut to about 3 inches tall. Yes I have some weeds, I don't care. Yes some spots aren't very good, it's not important. But my lawn was the last to brown during the drought last year and it came back more quickly than any other lawn when it final did rain. I can walk comfortably in my bare feet, and it stands up to heavy traffic. I'd rather spend my time riding than "playing" with the lawn.
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Old 05-09-04, 08:10 AM
  #71  
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i'm currently working on reviving my back yard. 3 year ago when my old lady and I bought the house, it had a lawn in the back, but it died when we did a garage restoration and basically tossed all the old wood and refuse on it for a summer. Now it's just dirt the I turned with a shovel over the past month or so. Next comes the roto tiller and the sod. I'm glad that I have understanding neighbors! My house was a "fixer-upper" that had fallen into disrepair to the point that it was had for a five figure price(CDN funds). It worked for us, being just married. The work we've put in over the past few years has brought the property value up quite a bit. Still lots of work to go though....I can't wait until everything is done and I can go riding again.
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Old 05-09-04, 11:42 AM
  #72  
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I would much rather see a nice lawn, than a yard with 3ft weeds, an old couch, a car body and a fridge on the front lawn.
Minus the garbage, I'd like to bike in a neighborhood with 3 foot high weeds, bushes and trees. I wish I could barely see the houses. Most people don't even use their front yard anyway and a "perfect" lawn not only look, but is sterile and lifeless.
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Old 05-09-04, 08:13 PM
  #73  
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I have a Russian friend who said, "You American's all have lawns but feel kinda guilty because they are bourgoise (sp?). But let me tell you something. Nobody in Russia has lawns and, consequently, it's always filthy. Dusty when it's dry -- muddy when it's wet." We have 5 kids and I suppose we're trying to grow children right now -- not grass, but I wish we could sustain a nice yard so their wouldn't be so much of it in my house. Weeds don't wear as well as grass.
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Old 05-13-04, 01:07 PM
  #74  
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Having a grass "lawn" in Florida is irresposible at best. We're under nearly constant drought conditions (particularly the last few years) and subsequently have watering restrictions that people routinely violate (regardless of fines) in order to maintain their non-native "lush" status symbol. My girlfriend and I are in the process of Xeriscaping our property using native Florida plants. I feel that once completed our yard will look better than any green carpet lawn as well as having real environmental benfits as well. An interesting article
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Old 05-13-04, 02:21 PM
  #75  
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I agree with you Raiyn. My parents who live in Colorado have always had a green lawn. With a low population 30 years ago, water wasn't in such high demand. As population has increased and the drought conditions that now exist, my parents continue to think it is their "right" to have a green lawn (massive one at that with fertilizer galore...requiring more water).

Even though the city has strict watering restrictions, my mom continues to disobey the restrictions, by "sneaking" water to the yard and high water intensity plants. I've tried to explain to her that she is part of the problem, but to no avail. She still thinks that she has a right to all the water that she can use. aarghh....

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