My lawn is dying.
This is not such a big deal in and of itself. (Blasphemer! shouts the spirit of Suburban Man™.) It’s just some plants, after all. Not big stuff on the Cosmic scale. But it’s the reason that it’s dying that has me ticked off today.
You see, it’s dying because we haven’t had any rain in a while, and I haven’t been running up my water bill by watering it religiously to golf-course-like greenness. The lack of rain shouldn’t be such a big deal — that’s pretty common in July. At least, it wouldn’t be a big deal if there were actually any topsoil there to hold moisture, rathern than just sandy subsoil.
You see, it’s been standard practice for I-don’t-know-how long for developers to start converting farmland to a new subdivision by bulldozing away all the topsoil first. That way, they can sell it back by the cubic yard to homeowners who actually want to be able to grow anything.
I used to blame some mysterious Suburban Ethic™ for the fact that everyone seeems to water contstantly to keep their lawns green. The SE does exist, but I see now that it’s also a practical thing. Fail to water, watch your lawn brown back and die off. (Yes, I know that grass goes dormant. This is beyound dormant.)
To add insult to injury, we’re on watering restrictions. The explosion of subdivisions has severely strained the water system, which can’t support these untold gallons being brought almost a hundred miles from the Detroit River to be dumped into the lawns of a hundred Washtenaw (and Wayne and Oakland) County subs.
Now, I grew up on farms. We always had acres of grass (I know, I had to mow it). We never watered our grass. It browned, but it was never in danger of actually dying and needing reseeding. Nancy is from older neighborhoods in Detroit and Livonia; she never saw such a thing either.
So our water shortage is not just the human vanity of homeowners, but the corporate greed of a generation of developers. Because, if they just left the topsoil where it was, the soil would work to retain water, and lots of this watering would be unnecessary.