Why We Should Stop Killing Weeds in Lawns

Why We Should Stop Killing Weeds in Lawns: David Hedges-Gower, Chairman of the Lawn Association discusses why we should stop killing weeds in lawns.

When we delve into the history of lawns, we uncover a lot about the values of past societies. However, beneath the surface often lies a hidden truth. In our busy lives, we often accept things without questioning their origins and significance. What’s considered a ‘weed’ is essentially a plant that happens to grow where we don’t want it to.

Why We Should Stop Killing Weeds in Lawns

Why We Should Stop Killing Weeds in Lawns

But really, isn’t that just a subjective description? Before the widespread use of herbicides became common place, did we really fret over weeds in lawns? No, we didn’t. We treated all plants equally, unless they posed a significant threat, like Japanese Knotweed, for example.

After World War II, with the rise of commercial interests, herbicides became the go-to solution for achieving the ‘perfect’ lawn. But who decides what’s perfect anyway? The push for monoculture lawns devoid of any unwanted plants deemed undesirable was driven not by lawn experts or environmentalists, but by profit-driven commercialism. And where has it led us? To a cycle of endless pursuit of an unattainable perfection, at great cost to both us and the environment.

In farming, weed control is a different story driven by economic factors and is a whole separate argument, but we’re focusing on lawns here. We’re not talking about pristine showcase lawns or lawns in international competitions; we’re talking about the lawns that form part of our social lives, our property values, and the ecosystem around us.

Why are weeds such a nuisance in lawns anyway?  Our native grasses naturally compete with and almost stop the growth of these so-called weeds. So why do we feel the need to intervene with herbicides, especially when they’re often applied incorrectly and cause more harm than good?

The truth is weeds or plants have a place in a healthy lawn. But the harmful chemicals used to eradicate them, do not. It’s time to embrace a more natural approach that respects the balance of nature and eliminates unnecessary damage to both our lawns and the environment. As Derek Trotter would say, “You know it makes sense.”

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