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Now I don't mean no work - grass needs to be cut now and then.

In the absence of structural/design defects a lawn should thrive with just mowing.

By defects I mean poor soil, poor siting (example at the top of a slope in full sun or adjacent to a heat sink such as paving).

thoughts and notes:

monoculture: in a lawn that is just a controlled mix of grasses, no broadleaf plants
tapestry: I use the word to mean rich, varied, complex, multicolored, multi-textured
shout: when one aspect overpowers the rest - can be either negative or positive
frame, lead the eye: lawn can set off or focus on other objects/views
playing field, project space, open space, sunlight spot
co-exist, compliment existing structures and plants

For me a grassy area (lawn) should compliment existing structures and plantings. It shouldn't over state it's presence (by being to long, too short or too bright (monoculture/over-feeding). The presence of other types of plants (sometimes referred to as weeds) doesn't have to detract if they are not overaggressive - that means calling attention to themselves if the arrest to eye movement.
       (here's where I fell asleep)


Here's what I use to "restrain" some exuberant plants:

Boraxo to control broadleaf plants in lawn
  read further

corn gluten to control crab grass
have had some success with corn gluten - seems to take a few seasons if infestation is heavy also   have had success with a heavy fall fertilizing (grass competes better)


dandelions and the dandelion test
as a general rule I like dandelions, when sparse they arrest the eye but when spread out I think yellow is a nice color. the dandelion test is taken in mid-summer, if the turf is healthy the grass will crowed out the dandelion leaves and they will be hard to find (pass the test). If the grass is weak the dandelion leaves will stand out and look like a Scott's-herbicide advertisement (fail the test - lawn needs help).

fertilize - early fall only - that extends the growing season and helps in early spring. Have found spring fertilizing over stimulates the grass (too much mowing).

Steps for a healthy lawn (what I do for organic lawn care in Newton, Brookline):
    mow high and often
    adjust the pH to near neutral
    fertilize in September
    take periodic soil test to look for unbalance/deficiencies in nutrients

Boston area averages 42 inches of rain why water?
What is a perfect lawn?  What is the purpose of a open grassy space?