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Native plants for landscaping and lawns  RSS feed

 
                  
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Location: Missoula, MT
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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?
 
Seth Pogue
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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.
 
Mark Vander Meer
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Cenex has some ok seed mixes. 
 
eems reeses
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You can get native seeds from Native Ideals (www.nativeideals.com), a company from Arlee. They also have a stand at the Clark Fork Market on Saturdays where you can get their seeds.
 
                    
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My family planted yarrow instead of grass on the roof of their root cellar, it works great, trample resistant, no mowing unless you want to, it smells great & makes wonderful fresh tea.

BUT is it native or introduced??
 
Mark Vander Meer
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I believe it's native.  I use it for similar purposes. 

Like the previous comment, I often use "Native Ideals".  They supply me with plants for my restoration work every year
 
                    
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Thanks Mark, for answering that for me.
We just tried out some yarrow & cedar salve to help with pain & inflammation, it worked great!!
Just  one more thing to appreciate about native plants.
D
 
                    
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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
 
Mark Vander Meer
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People call it chamomile, or pineapple weed, or a bunch of other names.  Don't know it's ansestry.  Very good cover for rocky or harsh sites, takes trampling well.
 
                    
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Thanks Mark,
It make nice tea also. D
 
                    
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My former land lords planted Thyme as ground cover & lawn edging, is it native??
 
                    
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As I was surfing the net I found this article below @ http://montanawildlifegardener.blogspot.com/2009/02/how-to-remove-lawn.html

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
 
                    
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If anyone has pics of how they used native plans for landscaping & lawns I would love to see them
 
                    
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We talked about yarrow, could you plant your whole lawn with it?
 
eems reeses
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Dianne Keast wrote:
My former land lords planted Thyme as ground cover & lawn edging, is it native??


It's not native, it hails from the Mediterranean. I think yarrow would be a fabulous yard. It's easy to grow, beautiful and will spread over the years. Plus, the bees really enjoy it!
 
                    
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Hi eems_reeses ,thanks for sharing that, I love yarrow also!!
 
                  
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Location: Missoula, MT
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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.
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
 
Daniel Toscano
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paul wheaton wrote:A perspective from Toby Hemenway:



Thanks for the video!

Thinking about how nice it would be that non-english permies could benefit from his wisdom as well, I'm working on the spanish subtitles.

I almost got it all in the video, but I'm stuck in some lines in which Toby speaks quite fast to me...

Can anyone help me out with this? I just need the transcription (in english) of what Toby says at the time gaps I detail below.


* From 00:28.20 to 00:31.20
* From 00:51.40 to 00.55.00
* From 04:46.75 to 04:53.00
* From 05:01.45 to 05:04.08

I really appreciate it, and I guess the spanish permaculture community would appreciate it as well

cheers
 
Chris MacCarlson
Posts: 64
Location: Missoula
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fungi trees
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Hi daniel - here is my attempt to help.

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"
 
Daniel Toscano
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Great! Thanks, Chris

'rampant', 'boonies'... those were unknown words to me.

FYI, in the second gap, I think the tree Toby is talking about is 'Mazzard Cherry' (also Wild Cherry or Sweet Cherry, as I googled)

Cheers!

 
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