It’s time for the yearly suburban battle with weeds and I would like to propose an alternative to a common weapon of choice—chemical warfare.
I enjoy mowing a lush green carpet of grass as much as the next person, but there is mounting evidence that our health can be adversely affected by certain chemicals being applied to our lawns. Particularly at risk are children and pets, who have much closer contact with the grass than we adults do.
Fortunately, there are many recipes to be found online for greening up a lawn using ingredients like beer and shampoo. Making ones own concoction can be time-consuming, however, and some people prefer to use a lawn service. Simply setting a mower higher helps the grass to crowd out the weeds. It is my hope that a "truly green" company will enter the market soon, because I believe that most people would choose to use an environmentally friendly alternative if an effective one were available.
While the classic weed-free lawn can be achieved through less toxic means, it doesn’t have to be the only option. Articles are popping up everywhere touting a change in attitude about these things we have been calling weeds. One of the most feared and maligned "weeds," the dandelion, actually boasts numerous health benefits. It contains “substantial levels of vitamins A, C, D, and B complex and iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, manganese, copper, choline, calcium, boron and silicon," according to “Ten Things You Might Not Know About Dandelions.”
Dandelion greens are sold at the farmer's markets now. With a change in our perception of the perfect lawn, someday people might be able to collect the greens from their own lawns to throw on a salad.
Editor's Note: Kathy Richardson is a blogger for Upper St. Clair Patch. If you would like to blog for Patch, email Editor Becky Brindle at email@example.com.