Even though the week started out snow-covered, I am still thinking about fixing my lawn this coming spring.
Along with my natural lawn maintenance plan, I am searching for ways to create low maintenance lawn alternatives. I want to add some color and texture to my little plot of land, while hopefully creating a place for bees and butterflies to pollinate without being tainted by pesticides. These are some lawn alternatives that I have found and seem relatively easy to execute.
Groundcover has little to no maintenance, can choke out weeds, create a mulch, and some are nitrogen-fixing. Examples of high-quality groundcover include: Alyssum, Tapien, Contoneaster, Bishops Weed, and Juniper. The only drawback to ground cover is that it does not hold up well to a great deal of foot traffic and is better suited for areas that have low human and pet activity.
Clover keeps coming up! It seems to be the wonder healer to all your lawn care issues. It is nitrogen-fixing, reduces soil compaction, grows quickly, is inexpensive, and requires no fertilizers. The best variety I hear is Dutch White – make sure it is not covered in herbicide or fertilizer when you purchase it!
Grasses are low maintenance, they grow well in many soils, and have very few pests. They are also really good for privacy as some can grow many feet high.
Flower and Shrub Beds
Flower and shrub beds require the most maintenance but if you choose only a few native varieties, your maintenance will be minimal. There are many varieties of flowers and shrubs giving you the ability to grow them in sun and shade and in any color imaginable. You can plant these in open bed or raised bed plantings, and are a good option for uneven ground.
I have already talked about my plans for planting clover, but I think I will also dedicate a small piece of my plot to creating a butterfly and bee flower bed. I have the seeds, I just need to sow them!
All information based on documents published by Beyond Pesticides
Heather works in MOM’s Central Office.