Getting rid of lawns - Planting Meadows

There are many ways in which we as individuals can impact biodiversity and ecosystem health. One simple positive change would be for households to change their monoculture grass lawns into biodiverse meadows. 

In Sweden, 52% of the urban green areas are lawns and in the United States lawns cover about 2% of the land area. Lawns may cover as much as 1.4% of the global grassland area and lawn grass is the largest irrigated nonfood crop. This is a extremely wasteful use of resources simply to maintain lawnscapes that does not promote biodiversity or food production.

Gardens could have many positive impacts, for example: providing habitats, storing carbon, air purification, nutrient cycling, water filtration, that are ruined by destructive management practices such as power lawn-mower, irrigation, pesticide use and chemical fertilizers. Lawns usually have very little biodiversity because they are monocultures. 

Lots of studies show that allowing gardens to become more wild, i.e. more diverse like natural ecosystem, by for example planting meadows or food forests would help promote biodiversity while providing us with vital ecosystem services such as fruits, healthy soils, pollination, cleaner air etc. Biodiverse healthy garden ecosystems also provide tremendous aesthetic and cultural values that are achievable without lots of money. Not only that it gives us joy and mental reprieve in a time of enormous social stress.

In many industrial societies, gardens have an enormous potential to provide habitat for many species on the verge of extinction due to the loss of traditional landscapes. Meadows and food forests require very little intervention, are beautiful and provide habitat for a number of threatened species. In a temperate climate like Sweden, meadows that bloom from spring to autumn are a suitable replacement for lawns and would provide relief for many species that once were common in the days of open pastures and small scale non-mechanical farming.

There is now a practical handbook in how to cultivate a meadow in your own garden from the Swedish University of Agriculture that can be found here.


Out of the ashes into the fire

0 kommentarer: