Andrew Konyha

  • America has an obsession with lush, green manicured lawns. Thomas Jefferson introduced lawns to Monticello after spending five years abroad and taking note of the large, neatly groomed, green swaths at various […]

    • This article is missing one major detail about maintenance… Maintaining a no mow planting, especially one with a lot of plant diversity (meadow), requires an educated horticulturist to perform that maintenance. The people maintaining these spaces will have to know what was planted there, what “blew-in” that can remain and what will take over and needs to be removed. The people doing traditional “mow, blow, go” maintenance will most likely lack the knowledge base to do that. This will mean that maintenance is more expensive, as you have to pay more for someone with a degree and/or significant experience to perform the work.

      I work at a facility with a well established meadow and it is a constant maintenance battle to keep invasive plants in check. I’d estimate the man-hours are the same if not higher than a turf area and require way more skill than someone riding around on a mower. We can put just about anyone on a mower, but identifying which plants to remove is a different story. Maintenance in these spaces may not be weekly, but they come in big chunks throughout the growing season as different unwanted plants show themselves, often when they begin to flower.

      I’m not arguing against reclaiming underutilized turf areas, but I feel like everyone glosses over the true maintenance requirements of these wilder plantings. There was a time when being a “Gardener” was held in high regard, it is time to return that level of status for the people who maintain our built environments.

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