It’s Crazy Not To Plant Grass Now!

You just might be going crazy and not even know it.  Have you ever put to thought the health benefits and psychological effects grass has on you and your family?   Let’s take a glance at why it’s important to have a lawn from the eyes of people that never seen one before.

At this very moment, I’m sitting in a hotel room in Armenia.  In my travels filming my TV show I went to a small town for five days that’s barely on the map called Fioletovo. If you can’t handle the idea of no indoor restroom facilities and taking a bath in a wet sauna that you have to stoke yourself don’t come here.  Oh, and the only way to communicate is through Russian (even though it’s an Armenian hamlet).  Time left this place behind.  You see, it’s a community of only 1200 people (+/-).  This is a place whose homes are passed along to the ‘next of kin’ for generations. I’m talking smaller than Mayberry RFD.  Although Aunt Bee Taylor isn’t to be found the residents are just as friendly.  Children, teenagers, and adults alike smile from ear to ear and say “hello” to each other, even to this stranger.

There was one thing I noticed in this lost-in-time community, no lawns.  Not one!  Nothing that even resembled a lawn.  Each backyard grew cabbage for their main income.  The front yards, most no larger than 600 square feet, were either barren, full of weeds, or attempting to have a flower garden with tulips and other bulb flowers poking through.

My curiosity of these yards pulled out my cell phone to see if they ever saw a lawn before.  Ninety percent of them have never seen one.  Every single person marveled at the beautiful green Marathon grass pictures. I asked a series of questions and the answers fascinated me.  The two answers that “mowed” me over were repeated several times:  1.  it’s a place of rest, and, 2.  it’s something to play on without getting hurt.

Lawns: A Place of Rest.  Undoubtedly lawns require maintenance which doesn’t sound like rest.  Yet we’re the same people that get up at 5 AM to run several miles or pump weights before the sun rises.  Feels good, doesn’t it?  What do you do afterward? Rest!  It’s good for your mind and body.  So is taking care of a lawn.

Mowing is an awesome exercise and you have don’t to worry about getting hit by a car as running can do.  A key benefit to mowing a lawn it’s health.  Imagine that – you get exercise, you look better and so does your lawn.  Lawns like to be mowed.  They want to be mowed weekly.  Turf will become thicker and weeds can be choked out before emerging.  A small lawn can be mowed in 30-minutes, less cleanup, and you’ll burn upwards of 350 calories. More calories are burned on larger lawns and even more if you use a push lawnmower.  Lawn mowing is likened to putting the cart before the horse but in a good way because you’re pushing it for exercise.  Imagine how you’ll be sculpting those glutes, molding your core, slimming those hips, strengthen triceps, shoulders, and hamstrings.  Hey, you’re looking good you sexy thing!  All from mowing your lawn.

Now, just like running up and down the block, rest after mowing.  Pull up a chair and smell those intoxicating green leaf volatiles or GLV’s (also known as fresh cut grass).  Nice, isn’t it?  In fact, for the rest of the week after running and pumping iron go home, pull up that chair, and take a rest on the lawn.  It’s amazing for the psyche as it’s urban nature.

Lawns: A Place to Play.  When the townspeople of  Fioletovo said a lawn looks like a place to play without getting hurt it brings to mind what the NFL Player’s Association is rallying for, the replacement of fake grass for real live turf.  They formally called on team owners to “proactively change all field surfaces to natural grass,” citing higher rates of injuries to players who are playing on artificial fields.

Back to Fioletovo.  I didn’t come across one household that owned a TV so the chances of them ever seeing fake turf, yet a football game, is highly unlikely.  It’s interesting to see these townspeople that have never experienced a lawn saw the benefits immediately for their children to have a nice soft place for them to play on instead of a hard dirt road embedded with sharp rocks and cattle running freely in the streets.

Just like the pros wanting to play on real turf, tossing a ball back and forth is enjoyable on your Marathon lawn.  If a scrimmage tackle, touch, or flag football breaks out you’ll have less of a chance of breaking your neck as the NFL Player’s Association is roughly getting at.

For a lightweight like me that doesn’t enjoy getting bruises and is far from sports-minded, I have a giant chess set with larger-than-life pieces and an 8’x8′ playing board.  Chess is one of the few games that crosses every generation.  A young person can play with the elderly and playing on a lawn enriches the experience.

Of course, an active lawn isn’t a lawn without croquet.  Even a weekend horseshoe set is fun to play with.  Not that I’m a stickler at it but horseshoe stakes are supposed to be 40′ from each other.  I guess if I think about it I am a bit of a sportsman because I’ll also break out my off-road golf set.  It’s kind of like croquet but qualities of golf smacking extra-large croquet-like balls into giant cups over a lawn.

It’s said many things can be seen through the eyes of a child.  That’s kind of the experience Fioletovo shared with me when they saw a lawn for the first time: excited, amazed and a simple look at the obvious that it’s safe, healthy and you’ll be happy to have a lawn.  Not only for the grass but for everyone.  Plant a lawn now!

Grass:  it’s good for you, your family, and the environment.

Nick Federoff

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