Thursday, February 25, 2016
The Bane of My Freaking Existence
It's this stuff. This is the plastic netting which is used to hold sod together when it's professionally grown and shipped to landscapers, in order to quickly and efficiently put in a lawn. I always wondered how they could grow grass and then cut it into neat little rectangles to be shipped and laid down in yards, and this is how it's held together, at the root level. With plastic.
This is all well and good until you decide to remove your lawn, in which case you will have to deal with it, as you're killing the grass which keeps it underground and out of sight. In the areas where we killed the lawn, I've had no less than two chickens get their feet caught in this mesh while trying to scratch around, and found one dead snake wrapped in the deadly plastic snare.
I'm afraid I'm going to have to dig down several inches every place the chickens have access to which once had lawn covering it, and pull out the plastic netting to ensure their safety. Yesterday, Cleo (our Aracauna hen) got a toenail caught in some and was probably there for an hour before I noticed her. I also found Valentina with some wrapped around a leg a couple of months ago. Luckily both hens had the brains to just sit down and not struggle, but this could easily have resulted in a broken toe or dislocated leg, both of which might have proven difficult to treat.
In the rest of the yard, we killed the grass and threw down four inches of bark on top of the dead grass and plastic netting, which means that while the grass will decompose, the plastic is still there, hanging out and not decomposing for 500 years. Should it ever become un-buried in the decades to come, it could easily trap wild birds, toads, snakes and even larger mammals such as foxes or coyotes. Once wrapped around a foot or toe, it quickly cuts off circulation, so even for a good sized animal it could quickly become a problematic and possibly even fatal issue.
I predict (and fervently hope) that as more and more folks start taking our their lawns in these parts, the outcry over this eco-hostile netting will cause someone to come up with a biodegradable version, which won't last beyond the lifetimes of our great-great grandchildren, as this plastic will. In the meantime, we will always be sure there are several good inches of bark covering ours, and pray any future homeowners will do the same.
This is one of those cases where you say, "there has GOT to be a better way."
Rant over. Carry on.