Dakota Gardener: Mixing the Lawn

If you are thinking of doing something different with your lawn, you are not alone.

Lawn trends are shifting towards environmentally friendly practices that balance green spaces and plant diversity for wildlife and pollinators.

Renovating areas of your lawn may be an option for you if your garden has areas that receive very little foot traffic or areas where it is difficult to grow grass due to poor soil or too much soil. shade, or if you want to add more plant diversity.

You have several different choices for mixing your lawn, depending on your needs.

Ground covers are low growing plants that, once established in the landscape, can reduce landscape maintenance and prevent soil erosion and weeds. Ground covers can be woody plants such as creeping juniper or herbaceous perennials that spread via creeping roots.

If you have trouble growing grass or other plants under heavy shade from trees, use mulch. Mulch will prevent weed growth, conserve water, and keep your lawn mower and mower from getting too close to trees.

Use flower beds or garden borders to increase plant diversity. Native gardens, pollinator gardens or edible landscapes can be created for you and the environment. Start small and use mulch to control weeds and conserve moisture. The time spent maintaining the gardens will be similar to the time spent maintaining your lawn.

For large areas of land, a meadow can be created in areas that receive at least six hours of sunlight per day. The prairies are mostly native grasses with a few native flowering perennials. However, grasslands can be expensive and time consuming to establish.

Incorporating grasses that require less mowing and care into existing turf is an option. For sunny areas that aren’t watered or fertilized and mowed no more than once a week, consider using a mixture of half-common Kentucky bluegrass and fine fescue.

In partially shaded areas, the mixture would be 80% to 100% fescue, the rest being Kentucky bluegrass. Fine fescues can be mowed less often and tolerate poor soil and dry conditions, but they do not tolerate foot traffic as well as Kentucky bluegrass.

I’m slowly starting to incorporate some of these options into my own lawn. I use mulch under my trees and establish pollinator gardens. I saved myself time and still have plenty of space for my kids to play and my dog ​​to dig.

Happy gardening!

About Ethel Nester

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