Less lawn, more beds

Most of our lawn issues are linked to the thirst for bigger homes and larger yards. We buy properties with lawns that only a decathlon contender could keep tidy with a push-mower. So we are forced to use gasoline-driven machines that spew out spectacular amounts of pollution.

And only someone with a hermit’s patience could excise 12,000 dandelions from the same lawn….so we are forced to use herbicides.

And surveys indicate we waste a third of our water – beautiful, pure water – on keeping these areas green.


A very good analysis is found here: http://nativeplantwildlifegarden.com/category/sustainable-landscaping/lawn-reduction/

So, in the long term, reducing the lawn area is the best, almost the only option to have a reduced negative and more of a positive. Because you can replace that lawn with beds crammed with beautiful plants….

How to reduce it?

  • First, do it by degrees. You will ruin your back and lose all patience if you try to do too much, too soon.
  • Have a plan to replace the lawn WITH something. Why is bare earth more beautiful than grass? It isn’t. So have some plants (perennials, preferably) lined up to step into the breach.
  • How to get rid of lawn? Here I quote from the expert site – http://www.lesslawn.org/articles/article1003.html:
  • Lay down a coat of newspapers 10-12 pages thick on top of the lawn inside the bed, overlapping the newspaper pages by 5 or 6 inches whenever they meet. You are creating a barrier that virtually all grasses and most perennial weeds will not live to penetrate.
  • Cover the papers with six to ten inches of wood chip mulch. If it’s windy, it helps to lay a small section of papers, then cover it with mulch before laying more papers. Wetting the papers with water from your hose may also keep them down.
  • Then consult www.lesslawn.org or http://nativeplantwildlifegarden.com/category/sustainable-landscaping/lawn-reduction/ for what to plant instead!

Good luck! Make your garden lovely!

Questions?  Comments? E-mail me on johnnydogmatic@comcast.net


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