Field of Greens

The grass is always greener… and TALLER?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Perfect green lawn? It’s the American dream! Even in the cities, we do our best to keep the grass trimmed, but is this a GOOD thing?

Christopher Watson at the University of Quebec at Trois‐Rivières wondered. His team compiled data from over fifteen studies about municipal lawn mowing in urban areas. These studies covered mowing habits in North America and Europe over a decade.

What did they find? Mowing urban greeneries too often can be BAD for plants and animals living in cities. Why? Frequent trimming cuts more than just grass. It also chops flowers that critters pollinate or snack on. Watson observed that well-manicured lawns had limited plant and critter diversity.

What’s more? Mowing might be hurting our wallets! Watson also studied how much mowing costs. For example, just by mowing FIVE times fewer a year, the city of Trois‐Rivières saved about thirty-five percent in maintenance costs!

Saving more, by doing less? Sounds good to me… This weekend, the lawn can wait!