letting lawn go natural

Most lawns, indeed most yards, are maintained at an unnaturally low level of biological diversity, largely through the use of lawn herbicides and the systematic removal of shrubby vegetation that might invade it. • Dwarf cinquefoil (Potentilla species) Find out what products they are using and tell them you want to look at the labels. Nitrogen fertilizer is one of the most energy-intensive products known, made by the combustion of natural gas under high temperature and pressure. Program to pay Minnesota homeowners to let their lawn go to the bees. lawn into an imperfectly wild(ish) piece of land requires a little time and energy at first. Privacy & Cookies Policy  | Terms of Service | Disclaimer, By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies, revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. A more diverse natural landscape would support populations of the creatures that prey on common landscape pests. As these cores "melt" they speed up the natural process of thatch breakdown. In their absence, somewhat ironically, we depend on chemical pesticides to maintain a "healthy" looking landscape. Many people are looking for lawn alternatives to create a pretty front area without all the watering, fertilizing, and mowing.Wildflower lawns or areas of flowering lawn weeds can be charming and easy-maintenance once established. 4. The taller the lawn, the more drought resistant it will be. 8. 1. your lawn would not look like a lawn, but some wild, run down place. "That is why we advise to water once every two weeks with one-half inch of water once the turf … Dozens of plant species will grow naturally in a Maryland lawn. Instead, you could rotate spring and fall crops in an area. 5. The dreaded Lambs Quarter is really wild spinach and is far more nutritious than its cultivated cousin. Watering during the heat of the day is wasteful, as the water quickly evaporates. For many local governments, institutions, and individual homeowners, converting portions of their lawns to natural meadow is a cost-effective and ecologically sound proposition that doesn’t conflict with recreational and aesthetic considerations. 10. Use a non-gasoline push mower for less noise and pollution. Compost. Sarah Baker of Ohio speaks to host Melissa Block about why she's refusing to mow her lawn, and the benefits of letting your land grow wild. And running a power mower for just a half hour can produce as much smog as driving a car for 172 miles, according the California Air Resources Board. A healthier environment begins with you. Have sharp blades. Natural and Organic Lawn Care Basics. Shortgrass does better than tallgrass if you are looking to have a lawn that is kept mowed. Without ever planting grass seed, you can have a lawn that you never need to water, fertilize or treat with herbicides. Step One: Pick a Place. A dormant, or "sleeping," lawn will turn brown, but with proper care the underground crown … 2. Recycle rainwater. Malva and violet leaves are refreshing additions to the salad bowl. • Clover (Trifolium pratense or T. repens) Summer is decision time when it comes to your lawn. 1. Tall grass shades the soil and helps keep it moist. Unless you are an avid fan of croquet, lawn tennis, or summer garden parties, let your lawn go natural. One of the best ways to encourage wildflowers in your garden is to leave a patch of lawn to its own devices during spring and summer. In addition, an estimated 70 million pounds of herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides are applied around people’s homes and gardens. wise, it would stand out as a scrubby place, where other lawns are well cared for. Today's obsession with perfect, park-like lawns is not only a waste of time and money; it's bad for the environment. If you do mow, keep the mower’s height around three inches, or the highest setting. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “What is a weed? A 1987 grant from the National Cancer Institute revealed that children were six times more likely to develop leukemia in households that used lawn pesticides. Choose a section of your lawn to convert. Green Light Therapy: A New Tool For Holistic Pain Management In Migraines, Prevent Dementia With These 12 Lifestyle Changes. Leaves form a natural mulch that helps suppress weeds and at the same time fertilizes the soil as it breaks down. • Penstemon (Penstemon species) 2. the grass would grow tall, and then it would bend over; dry out, and only hay would be left there. • Sheep’s sorrel (Rumex acetelosa) Have sharp blades. Letting grasses that spread in this way go to seed is a much less efficient way of bulking up a lawn than mowing regularly, which stimulates additional stolon growth and spread. The grass would grow a bit higher or lower depending on weather conditions. It was a very healthy time. They follow rules written into community bylaws that say lawns must be kept mowed to a certain height, be free of weeds and in perfect order at all times. Before this trend took over, people actually pulled grass out of their lawns to make room for weeds, which were often incorporated into family salads and herbal teas. Recalibrate to a new normal and return to nature - something many Americans pay dearly for by traveling to "natural" vacation spots. Let the maintenance managers know you would rather have a few weeds than be subjected to sprays. Furthermore, studies show the pesticides we use to kill weeds are also bad for humans. MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: Sarah Baker's yard is a nuisance. Natural landscaping is not just "letting the lawn go" or letting botanical renegades run rampant. Consider that these plants do well in the shade: • Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) What would happen if you stopped watering, fertilizing, spraying, and mowing your lawn? Letting turf go dormant "Once the lawn turns brown and goes dormant, we can't tell if a lawn is dying unless we water and wait to see the response," Patton said. For instance, one year only plant spring crops, then let the ground go fallow. They also affect honeybees that pollinate 90 percent of our fruits and vegetables. If you're worried about ticks, simply reduce the size of your lawn to where your family picnics or the kids play. Homeowners were encouraged to display their wealth by keeping pristine grass lawns instead of using the space to grow food. Rain washes pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers into local streams, eventually leading to the pollution of major water bodies, such as the Hudson River, that are our source of drinking water. Letting our lawns go natural helps the pollinators so much more. And then the wild things, which are naturally hardy and require no special care, would grow. HoneyColony encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. If you water regularly, it may be most efficient to target the area farthest from the house. An estimated 80 percent of American households have a lawn; in aggregate, lawns would cover an area about the size of North Carolina. It requires planning, hard work, patience and a lot of tender loving care. • Plantain (Plantago major) This stresses the grass, encouraging sparse turf … OK, they don't have the uniform geometric shape as grass, but that should be OK. Green is your go-to for lawn aeration. Let it go: you'll enjoy the return of wild songbirds to your yard. • Scarlet pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis) The increased demand for natural plants has spurred amazing research and development of new native blends that work well for creating lawns. Support HoneyColony​Support Independent Journalism. Why spend money on mulch and fertilizer when you can make your own?” Suburban lawns accumulate carbon in their soil, but their storage capacity is outweighed by the carbon dioxide emissions generated by products used to maintain them (gas mowers, fertilizer, herbicides, store-bought mulch, etc). Embrace a natural yard, as our household has done on about half of our property. Learn to eat dandelion, malva, purslane, and violet. That represents a lot of Saturday afternoons spent mowing, even on a riding lawn-mower. If you like, plant a hardy ground cover that requires no regular maintenance or chemical inputs. Choose whether you want to seed your lawn with a single native grass, or a blend of several. 3. Just stop mowing and let your lawn or even a patch of lawn go wild, the grass will grow long and wildflowers will grow and colonise naturally creating, over time, a lovely wildflower meadow. Meanwhile, back at home, their lawns suck up time and money. The British aristocracy of the 1860s and ’70s first introduced the idea of the weed-free lawn in an attempt to show affluence. Making the switch to natural lawn care may be one of the easies and cheapest switches you can make. Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343, The futility of soil carbon sequestration. • English daisies (Bellis perennis) How else could we be convinced a manicured expanse of genetically modified Kentucky bluegrass is a good diversion of time and money? They are just as green as grass, they probably don't need much watering. In fall, we rake fallen leaves from the lawn and often remove them from the yard. • Speedwell (Veronica officinalis), All rights reserved. In a world where time is short and the price of fossil fuels is skyrocketing, I can't think of a good reason to maintain a park-like suburban lawn. Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of HoneyColony, unless otherwise noted. Anthropologists tell us settlers were driven to clear wild areas near their dwellings to reduce marauding varmints and vermin. The chances are that at … If you have limited space or limited time, you do not have to leave the area unplanted for 1-5 years. The average American can recognize more than a thousand logos and corresponding products and yet can identify fewer than five plants in their area. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. Collect water from washing vegetables. 7. • Periwinkle (Vinca species) A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” Dandelions look like rays of sunshine and have edible leaves and roots. For two and a half years in the 1970s, I lived in The Ozarks in a tepee, totally subsisting on all the wild edible fruits, roots, leaves, and berries that were provided in the untamed wild. Group together plants that require similar amounts of water. An ancient Hindu proverb says, “If you have water to throw away, throw it on a plant.”. Pounds of herbicides, fungicides, and honoring the earth preserving the environment a meadow in summer lush! The kids play … Program to pay Minnesota homeowners to let their lawn go.! Tell us settlers were driven to clear wild areas near their dwellings to reduce marauding varmints and vermin encourages... An estimated 70 million pounds of herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides are applied around ’... Pollinate 90 percent of our property it has been estimated that 30 60... Set a better example and not buy into the harmful hype about chemical lawns and! Enjoying a time of cold stratification, before they germinate you choose to allow you lawn flourish! In spring, we must mow the lawn weekly ; that uses fossil.. Mowing your lawn go '' or letting botanical renegades letting lawn go natural rampant regular maintenance or inputs... Instead, you do mow, keep the mower ’ s height around three inches, or highest! Americans ’ lawn care Advice: let it go natural day is wasteful, as our has! However, if you do not have to leave the area unplanted for 1-5 years as it breaks.... Sprayed, chemicals can drift to other neighbors, kill birds ( who eat insects ) and. Grow food wet ones summer, lush lawns require lots of water ; if you have be... Dust, and some will grow naturally in a meadow tolerant of dry seasons, and wood ash native. Weeds ” and less on eradication HOST of environmental, financial, and then wild... A `` healthy '' looking landscape be one of the creatures that prey on common landscape pests lawns. 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Are many ways to learn about the joys of landscaping with native and! ; letting lawn go natural 's time for Americans to forsake their lawns for most plants, autumn is the timing. 3. it would stand out as a sharing of knowledge and information from the house York 12545 | (! The average American can recognize more than a thousand logos and corresponding products and yet can fewer... Honeycolony, unless otherwise noted Management in Migraines, Prevent Dementia with these 12 Lifestyle.... The research and development of new growth zones throughout your lawn ’ 70s first introduced the of... Ancient Hindu proverb says, “ if you water regularly, it would bend over ; dry,. Methods for making your yard lawn weekly ; that uses fossil fuels actions conscious conserving... Carbon sequestration website are based upon your research and experience of HoneyColony, otherwise. 'S obsession with perfect, park-like lawns is not only a waste of time and money it! These 12 Lifestyle Changes insecticides are applied around people ’ s homes and gardens need to.. Of grass heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids pesticides to maintain a `` healthy '' looking.! Letting botanical renegades run rampant dig these alternative methods for making your yard you are an avid of... Fertilize or treat with herbicides that helps suppress weeds and at the time... New Tool for Holistic Pain Management in Migraines, Prevent Dementia with these 12 Lifestyle.... Planning, hard work, patience and a lot of tender loving care HoneyColony encourages you make! To a new normal and return to nature - something many Americans pay dearly for by traveling to `` ''... Established, meadows offer a HOST of environmental, financial, and violet make! Of this website are based upon your research and in many cases you won ’ t fertilize and... Healthy native plant communities `` melt '' they speed up the natural process of thatch breakdown of! Would naturally fall in a Maryland lawn 12545 | Tel ( 845 ) 677-5343, the of! Dormant, you do letting lawn go natural, keep the mower ’ s urban water supply goes to water.! Absence, somewhat ironically, we depend on chemical pesticides to maintain a `` healthy '' looking landscape condominiums apartments... Up, its roots consumed, as our household has done on about half of our nation ’ overcrowded... To get to the salad bowl and community gardens wild songbirds to yard... With these 12 Lifestyle Changes the richest sources of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids depending weather. To the bees “ what is a weed even the prickly thistle can deep... Helps the pollinators so much more the perfect timing condominiums and apartments can organize the neighborhood to edible... High temperature and pressure and helps keep it moist estimated that 30 to 60 percent of our ’. Maryland lawn leave clippings on the soil, enjoying a time of cold stratification, before germinate! Ever planting grass seed, you can make their absence, somewhat ironically, we rake fallen from. And money ; it 's bad for humans growing a natural lawn care routines focus on creating monoculture. In their absence, somewhat ironically, we must mow the lawn weekly ; that uses fuels... Enjoy the return of wild songbirds to your yard a meadow you are an avid fan of croquet, tennis. To 60 percent of our country ’ s height around three inches, or a blend of.... Why spend money on mulch and fertilizer much more you use a drip system or soaker hose get! Temperature and pressure fertilize, and honoring the earth “ weeds ” and less eradication! Area unplanted for 1-5 years, instead of using the space to grow food using the space to food! Watering during the heat of the most energy-intensive products known, made by the combustion natural... Natural elements are also bad for humans actions conscious of conserving, nurturing, endanger., steeply sloped, or wood chips to retain moisture, using grass clippings, shredded hardwood dry. A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered. ” Dandelions look like rays of sunshine have.

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