The backyard of the house I just moved into is bare soil. Instead of putting in a conventional "water and mow" lawn, I wanted to try planting native grasses and plants. Are there any that work well for this in the Missoula area? How would I gather them, would I have to go out and harvest them in a field somewhere?
One way is to head out this weekend with a trowel and a flat or two of small square plastic pots (4" prob. a good place to start) and go to the forest up the Rattlesnake or other location of choice, fill the flats, bring 'em home and plug 'em in. Plant in the late afternoon or evening to minimize sun shock, water well. Do it again next weekend.
I was wondering about the stuff that looks like chamomile & grows in gravely soil, it smells like it might be chamomile. Could you grow it in place of grass? Is it indeed chamomile? & is it a native plant? D
It got me to thinking...my question is this...Do we need all that lawn? & If the answer is yes then can't we find a better way to cultivate it? I'm sure that as this thread says Native plants & organic practices are best but is there more we can do to make our lawn habit greener?? (article) Why remove some lawn? Here are a few thoughts and statistics… Lawns are now the number one irrigated crop in the U.S., covering over 40 million acres, three times the land area covered by corn and more than wheat. That is a pretty startling fact. We have gone from a nation of growing food crops to ornamental grass. The statistics on water use, maintenance costs and materials, fertilizer, and other resources for lawn care in this country is even more astounding. For example, in the U.S.:
* 800 million gallons of gas is burned in lawnmowers every year * 67 million pounds of synthetic pesticides are used on lawns * 238 gallons of water/ person/ day is used during the growing season * Outdoor watering accounts for more than half of municipal water use in most areas read more at the link above
Wow, Diane, those are some pretty crazy statistics. Thanks for sharing that article. I often think of mass, monoculture food production as a big environmental problem and yards (except in places like phoenix and vegas) as a secondary drain on resources. Thanks again for putting that into perspective.
Starting at 0:20 to 0:31
"One of the rules of permaculture is we start by planting natives. You choose a native plant first and if that won't do the job, you choose a proven exotic, one that you know isn't going to be rampant and invasive. So those are the rules. That being said...."
Starting at 48 to about 1:00
"Much of what we know about American botany began in the 1800's. That is if a plant had already escaped, and moved around the continent by then, and a lot of them had [then it is not considered exotic] Mazard? cherry is a good example of one that was planted by a lot of pioneers in the 1600's
Starting at 4:42 to 5:10.
"One of the ways to do that is to take care of a lot of your needs from your own urban or suburban yard. Like if you're in the boonies somewhere, you have enough land to be able to grow a little something for yourself, but the idea is that if we begin to take care of our own needs from our own yards, then somewhere else, on land out in a rural or a wilderness area can actually be wild; we are reducing our pressure on land elsewhere that could be truly wild, where there could be bobcats, where there could be those endangered bird species and endangered pollinators that are not going to show up in your urban yard no matter how many native plants you put in your yard"