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Old 05-16-2016, 05:36 AM
 
Location: NC
6,545 posts, read 7,961,421 times
Reputation: 13440

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You wildflower meadow enthusiasts clearly are dreaming. To have an attractive meadow you will need to plow and reseed every couple years, just like the highway professional landscapers do. Otherwise, the 'flowers' in the mix that like your particular field conditions best will start to dominate, usually at the expense of the prettiest flowers. Blooming season is maybe 4 months. The 10K used tractor is the way to go. Ten years from now you will sell it for 8K so no big deal on the price. I agree that planting a forest is a crazy idea. You will need to plant seedlings, then mow around each little sapling until it is big enough to shade out the ground around it. No, just no.

Best idea if you can't afford the tractor is let it go back to nature, weeds and all. Put a nice little fence around your house, mow maybe 20 ft beyond the fence and let the rest go native.
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Fairfield of the Ohio
709 posts, read 515,173 times
Reputation: 2091
Quote:
Originally Posted by ukrkoz View Post
I have six acre property with easy 5 of it being lawn.
I actually like mowing, problem is - land is very bumpy and nothing can be done about this. Moles. Re grading not gonna work as they will ruin it in a month or so with mounds and for the love of god, I am not going to dedicate my life to hunting moles on 5 acres.
So question is - how do I aesthetically pleasingly reduce mowable area significantly? It's land of horse properties, but everyone is up keeping lawns.
I have good mower, as of now, I mow about 4 acres and did it Friday in 2 hr 20 minutes. But it's back breaking because of bumpiness. Should it all have been football field level, I'd have been happy as, as I said - I like mowing. It's not my back that hurts, it's actually neck muscles.
So, what say you? As I mentioned, not ruining the curb and overall property look. It's a nice property. But I'd love to reduce mowing to acre and a half maybe. You know, around the house.
House is set back 2/3rds into the lawn, long driveway. Front looks to me like about 3 acres, with about an acre of wetland.

Thank you.
We do consider grazing animals, but they need a lot of upkeep and I am leaving at 6 30 and back at 6 - 6 30. Wife is night shifting, so we are trying to not load ourselves with additional babies to take care of. I'd rather look into maybe some "botanical" solution. Plants, shrubs... Donno. Open to suggestions.

Pay some kid to cut the lawn for you.
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:00 AM
 
245 posts, read 213,607 times
Reputation: 512
field of sunflowers
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:13 AM
 
Location: SC
2,967 posts, read 4,184,246 times
Reputation: 6829
Quote:
Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
You wildflower meadow enthusiasts clearly are dreaming. To have an attractive meadow you will need to plow and reseed every couple years, just like the highway professional landscapers do. Otherwise, the 'flowers' in the mix that like your particular field conditions best will start to dominate, usually at the expense of the prettiest flowers. Blooming season is maybe 4 months. The 10K used tractor is the way to go. Ten years from now you will sell it for 8K so no big deal on the price. I agree that planting a forest is a crazy idea. You will need to plant seedlings, then mow around each little sapling until it is big enough to shade out the ground around it. No, just no.

Best idea if you can't afford the tractor is let it go back to nature, weeds and all. Put a nice little fence around your house, mow maybe 20 ft beyond the fence and let the rest go native.


I never said to "plant a forest with small seedlings." I said to plant a few scattered hardwoods to use as anchor trees, then allow the land to reclaim itself all around with native new growth. An anchor TREE is larger than a seedling, like a 6 foot plus nursery purchase. Smaller native softwoods that typically spring up in new growth can be added for filler to give it a jump start. No difficult mowing around seedlings is needed. He can walk away from the filed if he wants and never touch it again, or he could mow or quickly weed-eat around some tree clusters for a few years to give the young trees a boost and keep vines off, if he chooses.


I agree that planting a wildflower meadow is a bad idea. This takes a lot of planning and maintenance. By year 2, the meadow will be infiltrated with native, hardy WEEDS like dandelions and thistle that will blow weed seeds all over his entire property, into his mulched landscaping, creating a massive mess. The weeds will spread each year until they take over, unless the land is properly managed with annual reseeding, etc.
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:44 AM
 
10,522 posts, read 15,573,695 times
Reputation: 11833
Quote:
Originally Posted by Listener2307 View Post
Yep.
Meadows Instead of Lawns Are in Fashion in Residential Landscaping - WSJ

Meadow yards is what they are called, and there are companies who specialize in getting you started. You kill the existing grasses, plant the continuously blooming flowers, and let them go. Cut them once in the fall, let the cut stalks lie where they fall, and reseed as per directions (and seeds) from your supplier.
You do not fertilize wildflowers.

Property near the house would be separated from the meadow in some fashion.
Ahh, that's nice. Even looks like my backyard. Only smaller.
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:45 AM
 
10,522 posts, read 15,573,695 times
Reputation: 11833
Quote:
Originally Posted by br1n View Post
field of sunflowers
That's what wife wants.
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:51 AM
 
10,522 posts, read 15,573,695 times
Reputation: 11833
Quote:
Originally Posted by L0ve View Post
I never said to "plant a forest with small seedlings." I said to plant a few scattered hardwoods to use as anchor trees, then allow the land to reclaim itself all around with native new growth. An anchor TREE is larger than a seedling, like a 6 foot plus nursery purchase. Smaller native softwoods that typically spring up in new growth can be added for filler to give it a jump start. No difficult mowing around seedlings is needed. He can walk away from the filed if he wants and never touch it again, or he could mow or quickly weed-eat around some tree clusters for a few years to give the young trees a boost and keep vines off, if he chooses.


I agree that planting a wildflower meadow is a bad idea. This takes a lot of planning and maintenance. By year 2, the meadow will be infiltrated with native, hardy WEEDS like dandelions and thistle that will blow weed seeds all over his entire property, into his mulched landscaping, creating a massive mess. The weeds will spread each year until they take over, unless the land is properly managed with annual reseeding, etc.

Hmmm... How come no mowing between the trees? I am all for trees for wind protection. I am all for say orchard for fruits. Soil appears to be generous for those, actually, several fruit trees we have do fine.
But if I leave it be between trees, won't it start looking like a jungle soon? As I mentioned, whatever grass we have, did not die in the last year drought and grows 4 feet high. I have chunk left that when I drive my old Craftsman in there, grass it actually taller than engine cover.
I mean, we could plant trees and then maybe run quad in between them. Have two sons that will be all for it and grandson is growing.
I simply do not want to let it look wild. Or, kill the resale value, you know. Not everyone appreciates forest in the backyard.
Oh, and definitely not pines. No no no. Gutters are tooo hard to clean as the result.
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:33 PM
 
9,893 posts, read 3,271,164 times
Reputation: 7254
I did some work in this area about 25 years ago. We were looking to save monies at national level for a smaller EU country.



The approach was to continue cutting some ground, while allowing large tracts around some borders to fallow for the season, and continuing high maintence near foot traffic and medium near vechicles.

cut the approach, and enough land to show it had value and leave the rest lie idle under the guise of protecting wild life. We did not recommend sowing wild flowers due to the costs of dealing with "green" folk who would might undermine the whole thing.

over all it works, just make sure you have the gear to cut once or twice a year and make sure you don't breach some local ordinance ...
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Old 05-16-2016, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Central IL
15,201 posts, read 8,509,345 times
Reputation: 35577
Okay...what about a totally different tack...I don't know much about equipment but is there some other kind of tractor or standing mower that will let you mow with less wear and tear on your body? You said 2 1/2 hours which sounds like a long time to stand but you'd be using your legs as shock absorbers instead of your back/neck. Either that or just pay to have it done - or at least the worst parts of it.
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Old 05-16-2016, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,747 posts, read 4,163,343 times
Reputation: 15461
I'd like to cut our lawn by 1/3 by growing a hedge and let the grass grow wild behind the hedge.
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