Greener grass: A brief history of lawn care
During the 16th century, lawns were only found outside of the homes of the wealthiest members of society in England and France. Because of the year-round mild temperatures in these parts of Europe, growing a lawn was easy – and usually instead of grass, lawns were covered in herbs like chamomile or thyme. These herbs can sometime take over a lawn and thrive without any maintenance.
Once Englishmen began to make their way to North America, they brought the tools and supplies required to bring their green lawns over as well. The seeds that resulted in their favorite grasses were carefully brought stateside on boats, but even in the new world these lawns were exclusively for the rich. So how did this change, and what brought us to an America where every house is framed by a healthy green lawn?
The industrial revolution
Prior to the industrial revolution, the most expensive aspect of having a healthy lawn was the cost of maintenance. This revolution changed everything with one invention: The lawn mower. While the earliest lawn mowers were not the cheapest product on the market, they did open the door for more people to be able to afford a lawn of their own. Over time the price of the mower continued to drop and more were produced. With this easy tool for greener grass now in stores, Americans started to take their lawns into their hands.
With lawn mowers, weed-eaters and hedge clippers now in mass production, the landscaping industry began to rapidly expand. Now it was much easier to create greener grass with the right tools. With these tools becoming more and more affordable, suddenly lawns were not just for a very top tier of society. Lawn care companies were suddenly serving the middle class, and suburban areas were suddenly becoming covered in green grass.
The early days of DIY lawn care
The first lawn mower that resembled the machine that we see today was invented in 1830, by an Englishman named Edwin Budding. This original invention lacked a motor, but by the late 1800’s this key feature had been added as well. Over the next three decades many models entered the market – some powered by gas and others that made use of steam or electricity. Ultimately the gas models proved to be the best choice, and by the 30’s most Americans had a lawn mower in their garage.
With mowers becoming such an affordable and easy-to-use product, greener grass began to cover much of the United States. Now having a full, lush lawn was much easier, and growing an acre or two of grass did not seem like an unachieveable goal. Suddenly lawn-care amateurs were planting all sorts of grass, much of which wasn’t successful.
Starting a lawn: An integrated approach
Starting a lawn from scratch on your own can be done, but it is not the easiest yard task. It involves a lot of research about your local conditions, the type of soil in your yard, the type of grass that thrives best in your area and much more. You may have all of the skills required to keep a lawn healthy, but that may not mean you’re prepared to start a new lawn.
What many homeowners find to be the best approach is having their lawn started by a professional, but marinating it on their own. This way a lawn care expert can take care of all of the research that’s required and ensure greener grass that you could achieve on your own. This expert can also point you in the right direction in caring for your new grass. They’ll have all of the best recommendations for the type of grass that they’ve planted in your lawn.