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Report From PIA – July 17

We went out to dinner tonight and as I was walking into the restaurant, my attention was snagged by the soft appearance of the lawn. Or was this a ground cover? It almost looked like miniature Nassella, aka Stipa grass.

Bending down to look more closely, I realized that this was an ordinary lawn, but that it must have been mowed by a really, really dull lawn mower blade. The grass wasn’t cut as much as it was shredded until it was shorter.

All lawn recommendations advise to be sure to cut grass with a sharp blade, and make a clean cut because that is less stressful on the plant. Zagged wounds lose more moisture and provide many more places for diseases to enter. This turf was hanging in there, albeit with a appearance closer to fur than a lawn. I wouldn’t say that I loved it, but it was certainly an interesting look.

This shredded grass reminds me that sometimes things succeed against all odds. It might not be the best way, or the correct way, to mow a lawn, but it hasn’t killed this one yet and it surely did catch my attention. Maybe there’s a whole new style here, I was thinking, envisioning entire suburbs of shredded lawns all across America.

Somewhere, right now, someone is probably working on a mower that purposefully creates this effect. Soon there will be strains of grass that have been bred solely for their ability to be tattered and torn on a regular basis, and special fertilizers that support their growth.

OK, I’m speaking very tongue-in-cheek here, but the point is that the way we currently care for lawns is largely a matter of fashion. Perhaps it’s time to change what’s considered a “proper lawn” into something that requires fewer resources.

The photos speak for themselves.

Do you find it pretty and interesting, or does it make you cringe?

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