The idea of me doing a tropical gardening diary (perhaps with political overtones?) is inspired by Sybil.

I live in rural South Miami-Dade on a 2.5 acre mini-fruit tree farm, surrounded by what is known locally as The Land of 10,000 nurseries.  Chances are, your house, office, and hotel deocr plants were grown here.  Down here in the “swamp” plants don’t so much grow as explode.  So, we don’t garden so much as beat back the jungle with a machete.  Hence the title.

Now, I’ve been to Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal and Quebec, and Nova Scotia.  Beautiful, but you sure do have some strange green stuff growing there!  What’s with all those pine trees?  All one color, all the same shape and size.  Nearly hypnotized me into a deep trance that could have led to a road accident when I was driving along the Canadian Rockies. ;>)  Where I come from, botanical variety is as dizzying as the shades of green and the other colors plants come in.

Today’s subject is GRASS — no not the illegal medicinal dragon plant, the lawn bowling surface. Why not follow me below the fold and let’s get down with the cinch bugs?
If you want to improve the air quality, don’t have a lawn.  Especially where I live, since it MUST be chopped down at LEAST once a week during the rainy season (now through October). Unfortunately, the rainy season frustrates the potential mower because daily torrents make the grass too wet, and sometimes temporarily put it out of reach under water.

There’s about 2 acres of lawn to mow on my homestead (figure half an acre taken up by house pad and combined tree trunks, dog pens, and fencing).  That means half a day on the tractor. That means 2 gals. of gas.  Oil.  Lots of sweat (it’s HOT!).  And buckets of GatorAde.

I know where the grass clippings go; they’re minced by the mulching blade, fall back to earth, and get used by birds to make nests or recycle themselves by rotting.

But what is my mower doing?  It’s polluting the hell out of the planet!  Doesn’t bother me or my neighbors (nearest and only lives 1/4 mile away) ’cause the Trade Winds almost always blow out of the ESE, SSE, taking the pollution your way.

How about the rest of you guys in Canada — coughing yet, eh?

I’m killing you with CO, CO2 and other pollutants, that’s what!  Here’s the truth:

  •  A conventional lawn mower pollutes as much in an hour as 40 late model cars.
  •  Lawn mowers produce several types of pollutants, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, ozone precursors, and carbon dioxide.
  •  Other chemicals emitted include half a kilogram of carbon monoxide and several grams of methane, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxide and smoke particles.
  •  Another pollutant caused disproportionately by gas-powered lawn equipment is ozone.

And did I mention NOISE?  You can read more about the hazards of owning a gas-powered lawn mower here.  And all the details about their noxious products here.  Then take a peek at the politicization of gas-engine lawn mowers by Missouri Senator Christopher Bond (R) who

sought to delay the development of federal rules that would clamp down on emissions from lawn mowers and other high-polluting outdoor equipment.

just last Thursday here.

Guess I should convince the spouse to get one of those electric riding mowers used to keep golf courses trim.  What are you using?

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