Lawn mowers were not invented until the 1800s, and did not become commonly used until the early 1900s. Before this time, lawns had more practical applications.
Most landowners had gardens surrounding their homes. Land use included vegetable plots for food production.
Dirt and Gravel
Homeowners would allow their grounds to remain free of any growth. Patches of ground were used for storage or disposal sites for waste.
Grazing was a method used to keep grass and weeds controlled. Goats, cows, horses and other farm animals were allowed to use the land for food.
Wealthier homeowners used scythes and rollers to control ground cover. Gardeners, caretakers and landscapers were hired to maintain large green plots around manor houses.