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Old 05-06-2023, 01:21 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
7,251 posts, read 5,123,089 times
Reputation: 17747

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I bought 40 ac about 10 y/a. It was 15 ac of woods and 25 ac that had been clear cut in the ancient past. Thru the yrs, those 25 ac had been in row crops, then used as cattle pasture, but had been fallow for the 10 yrs before I bought it. ...It was tall grass "meadow"- a euphamism for fescue/rye/orchrad grass with copious weeds, many daisies & clover and, unfortunately, a good deal of wild rose.

The first season I owned it, I went out to mow the wild rose which was growing in small colonies or singularly in patches spaced every 30 or 40 ft. As I drove the tractor thru the 4 ft tall grass, swams of butterflies of several species would be scared up- as thick as flies in a riding stable in August.

Thereafter, I had cattle on it. They quickly munched it down to three inch tall nubs of grass. When I drove out to mow the rose again, nary a butterfly to be seen anymore.

Even small scale changes in land use can markedly affect habitat, biodiverstiy and population numbers.

Lawns are deserts. Keep that in mind when planning the landscaping on your suburban postage stamps. Added together, all those postage stamps in a neighborhood add up to a lot of acres of desert.
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Old 05-06-2023, 08:47 AM
 
10,225 posts, read 7,580,886 times
Reputation: 23161
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKTwet View Post
Why do we keep pouring money and energy resources into having a well manicured green lawn?
You know, I've always thought that. Beautiful though they may be, it's such a false thing to do. All the time and care going into it, all the waste of the water, and the use of chemicals to keep things from growing in the perfect lawn that shouldn't be in a perfect lawn.
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Old 05-08-2023, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
16,546 posts, read 19,689,232 times
Reputation: 13331
I cut my grass, but that's all. I've never watered and never will. I don't car if it gets brown.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
, and mow maybe once a month in April, May, June. and September.

There's no way you live in the Seattle area. Once a month in April? May? The rainy season? It rains half as much here and I've mowed twice in May already...
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Old 05-08-2023, 02:48 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, 615' Elevation, Zone 8b - originally from SF Bay Area
44,563 posts, read 81,147,605 times
Reputation: 57767
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
I cut my grass, but that's all. I've never watered and never will. I don't car if it gets brown.





There's no way you live in the Seattle area. Once a month in April? May? The rainy season? It rains half as much here and I've mowed twice in May already...
We are just east of Seattle at 615' elevation in Sammamish. I did in fact mow last Friday, for the first time. I don't keep it short like a golf course. It just doesn't grow very fast until mid-May when it warms up. We may get frost or snow in April, in fact we did get frost about 3-4 days last month, and 11 days with a low in the 30s. No one plants their annuals or vegetable garden until after Mother's Day.
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Old 05-08-2023, 04:16 PM
 
2,967 posts, read 1,641,416 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKTwet View Post
Why do we keep pouring money and energy resources into having a well manicured green lawn?
When I see "perfect" fescue lawns, all I see are chemicals bc that's what it takes to have that kind of grass where we live, mid-Atlantic East Coast.

The natural ground cover here is clover and wild Beruda. They both make a perfectly acceptable lawn but they do turn brownish in winter. Some people don't like that and want a green lawn all year round.

Our lawn is gorgeous when cut but it's basically a mixture of weeds: buttercups (we don't mow till after blooming, makes a beautiful buttercup meadow and a great excuse not to cut grass!), wild violet, wild strawberry, crab grass, wild Bermuda, white clover, purslane, Lambsquarters, chickweed, Quackgrass, Nutsedge and probably about a dozen other "noxious weeds" as they're labeled by lawn care experts.

The lawn is thick and springy and tough as nails, not to mention no chemicals go on it at all. We suppliment with Espoma Plant Tone once or twice a year, organic fertilizer. Rather than a chemical desert our lawn is a feast for birds, bees, butterflies, wild rabbits, deer, possums and their babies. It's beautiful, I love the variety of growing things instead of the uniformity of fescue which is not a natural grass in this area, summers are too hot and dry and winters are too wet. Fescue lawns need constant chemical baths and watering throughout the summer. They do stay green in the winter though.

I wouldn't want to ban that type of lawn, that's not the way to go but I would like to see an information campaign to persuade people to rethink the perfect lawn of grass that needs watering and chemicals to maintain. And instead raise a lawn of food for wild life.
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Old 05-08-2023, 04:18 PM
 
Location: New England
3,264 posts, read 1,743,884 times
Reputation: 9139
But I love the smell of a newly mown lawn!
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Old 05-08-2023, 04:39 PM
 
2,967 posts, read 1,641,416 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driver 47 View Post
But I love the smell of a newly mown lawn!
Me too!

That soup we call a lawn smells delicious when cut. My husband just finished cutting the front yard this afternoon. Yum!
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Old 05-08-2023, 04:42 PM
 
9,952 posts, read 6,670,049 times
Reputation: 19661
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
Speaking as a gardener and landscaper I'm talking about my observations and experiences with vinca minor in northwest gardens. I haven't had the dubious pleasure of working with vinca major (yet - and hopefully never) but I think growing locations and climate conditions are a huge factor as well in the behaviour of opportunistic invasives. The majority of plant species that produce vines or long trailing creepers are opportunistic and aggressive.

If you live in climate conditions that are not conducive to fast, thick, lush growth then the impacts of the opportunistic species of plants likely wouldn't be too pronounced. Put vinca minor in a dry desert condition like in southern California or Nevada or Texas and it can be more easily controlled, but put it in humid rainforest climate conditions like the Pacific northwest or Quiet Life's Poconos in the northeast for example and it will thrive and try to take off all over the place like gang-busters.

.
I put it in because I thought it might be able to compete at least somewhat with creeping Charlie, which is ridiculously invasive. I have a large bed in my backyard that I finally weeded last week and it was just overtaken by creeping Charlie. I got a flat of vinca minor last year and it hasn’t caught up yet in aggressiveness. In my front bed, I have thistle (which is also awful) and bindweed, both of which are just as bad. Then in the back, there is the occasional poison ivy and pokeweed, neither of which I want in the yard. I haven’t seen any yards here with out of control vinca. Contrast that with the bindweed/thistle combo I had when I Moved in here and my neighbor told me it was basically only that spring where he didn’t have a lawn service or do serious weeding. It just took two to three months for the thistle and bindweed to totally overtake the front bed.
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Old 05-08-2023, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Washington state
7,029 posts, read 4,891,679 times
Reputation: 21893
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlakatla View Post
Neither Himalayan blackberries or Scotch broom are native to the PNW.

The wild blackberries that are native to this part of North America don't take over like the Himalayan variety does.

https://www.seattletimes.com/life/fo...ve-blackberry/
Well, they're native now. LOL I could plant a thousand real native PNW plants and the blackberries and Scotch broom would still take over everything.
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Old 05-08-2023, 11:19 PM
 
Location: Toney, Alabama
537 posts, read 444,313 times
Reputation: 1222
I have a 1 acre yard with bermuda sod. Once I got the weeds under control, all I do is broadcast fertilizer 2x per year on it right before a forecasted rain.

And I cut it about every 7 to 10 days with a zero turn mower. Just a 45 minute job that's actually fun.

No great resources go into my yard.
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