Sunday, March 6, 2011

Get Your Lawn Off Grass!

Yesterday, I ran into a friend while up at Mount Bachelor. While having a spectacular day at the mountain with her daughter, in the far back of her mind was her landscape. She mentioned that she wanted to reduce the amount of lawn in their yard this year and replace it with drought-tolerant, more native plant material. Not liking to mix business with pleasure, I left her with a "we'll talk" and went on our separate ways. Her to the ski lift, me to the bar. (What? I had foot surgery and can't ski yet...what's a girl to do?) Reducing the amount of lawn in your landscape is a great way save time and energy. Lawn maintenance requires excess water and electricity usage, toxic herbicides, pesticides and other pollutants that can leach into our ground water and valuable time you could be spending with your family. There are many alternatives to a traditional lawn. Consider ground covers, ornamental or native grasses, xeriscape plant material, rock gardens, raised vegetable gardens or hardscapes. Hardscapes would be things like paver or flagstone patios, crushed granite pathways, pergolas, boulder accents or slab stone steps. All of these things take up a large amount of space with little to no water, eliminating the need for excess water and constant care. Lawn does have it's good qualities too, especially here in the High Desert. Green grass creates the feeling of an oasis...cool and calming. It provides an open space for the kids to play and a place to relax. It also cuts down on the dust we have here in Central Oregon and acts as a fire barrier. OK, I will admit that sometimes it is just pretty to look at. (That's coming from the fact that I am married to a Midwesterner and he has convinced me of this.) But before planting your new lawn, consider planting a mix of native grasses instead of sod lawn. This will promote biodiversity, wildlife habitat and a self-sustaining landscape. You will get a similar effect with less of the headache a traditional lawn will give you. 'How to get your LAWN OFF GRASS' by Carole Rubin is a great resource for those of you interested in switching to native or drought-tolerant landscapes. If you are still feeling frustrated, stop by a local native plant nursery or contact your favorite landscape designer to schedule a consultation.

1 comment :

  1. If the New Lawn grasses can cope up with the stress, it will be healthy and dense and will be able to resist disease. Sometime the disease may spread and it becomes out of any control. However, the disease resistant cultivars can be implemented to avoid future problems.

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