Thursday 2 October 2014

What Would Happen If I Stopped Mowing the Lawn?

     When I was a kid, one of my deligated tasks during the summer was mowing our lawn.  I hated it.  We had a gas push mower and a very big lawn.  Our front yard was 160ft x 120ft (50m x 36m), which  was  lot of noisy pushing on a hot and humid Indiana afternoon, and that was only the front yard, our back yard was almost as big, and it had slopes.
     As I toiled and sweated, I often wondered what would happen if the lawn wasn't mowed every two weeks.  About thirty years ago, my family saw the futility of trying to mow everything, and decided to just stop mowing a big area along the side of the house.  This is where my father grew Christmas trees.  Once most of the Christmas trees were cut and gone, and the mowing ceased, the area began to revert back to nature.
     This experiment was not without problems, and one of the biggest was the invasive honeysuckle vine that sought to overwhelm every little tree that tried to establish itself.  The honeysuckle had to be cut away or pulled back, and if it was, some of the trees began to poke their heads toward the sun.  Maples, walnut, oak, and gum trees are now growing there.  You can see from the photo that a path through the middle of the grove has been mowed and maintained for access to the house next door, but the rest is slowly becoming a young forest, leaving a bit smaller lawn to mow.

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