I was shopping at Lowes last weekend, and something caught my eye. From the contents of the seasonal aisle it seems that Lowes is expecting a large number of people to be using herbicides this spring. On their lawns.
When I was young I did my fair share of lawn care for different people. I don’t remember poison ever being part of the program. So now I find myself wondering. How has it come to pass that herbicide is seen as, or in any case is certainly marketed as, a standard tool in the lawn care kit? Am I to believe that the general use of ‘selective’ herbicides constitutes an advance in how we take care of our lawns?
My thoughts turn to a major object of the herbicidal campaign: dandelions. Maria Treben, a best-selling Austrian author on herbs writes that dandelions are “Nature’s greatest healing aid for suffering mankind.” Every part of the plant is thought to have healing properties—especially in the spring. [But beware: before eating dandelion, make sure that it has not, alas, been sprayed with herbicide.]
Perhaps we can reflect anew on the goal or purpose of having lawns, as well as on how our lawn care is an expression of our broader approach to the natural world. We might then be in a better position to consider what constitutes a real threat to our lawns, and to us.