Not surprised there was a thread here.
I was a bit surprised that dandelions weren't brought up more often as a food source, not many Mediterraneans on the site?
The young leaves are boiled to make a dish called horta which has many alleged benefits, I bought a pack of seeds and spread them around but you need to pick lots of leaves for a decent side dish.
I also dug some saffron crocus bulbs into the ground but although they came up they didn't flower, maybe next year...
Hoping to eliminate as much lawn as possible though, even if you can grow edibles in it I don't like bending over to pick them.
Horehound - medicinal (related to mint), had flowers.
Purslane - food (grows below the 3" line and is durable enough to be walked on), small yellow flowers
Dandelion - food, bees.
So cool and soft and no itchy bugs.
Also a lawn of all lambs ear would be great to roll around in (without the spikes)
My actual idea is California poppy though.
It's a grower and soft. Also medicinal.
(My first tincture started two months ago)
Melany Vorass wrote:All the edible weeds, plus a little bit of grass (also edible): clover, dandelion, catsear, sheep sorrel, nipplewort, common mallow, creeping woodsorrel (Oxalis corniculata), shotweed, chickweed, deadnettle. A few medicinals too - feverfew, yarrow.
Have any pictures, Melany?
- X 2
i have never ever mowed a lawn. =)
occasionally i have clipped the plants down, but usually only for the mulch and not for whatever other reasons people mow. actually it seems awfully odd to me, to have a need and custom of cutting all plants/grasses to exactly same height! but then again most people think i am odd, so i guess we are even!
some stuff i have grown, had volunteer, and planted for lawn ish areas that get cut for mulch or harvested for use- small leaf mint (i think its corsican mint), lemon balm, viola, various flax, wild onions- we have these three cornered leeks and others here, chicory, clovers, chamomile, bird's foot trefoil, thyme, sheep sorrel, wild strawberry, pineapple weed (actually likes being walked on weirdly!)....i'm quite sure theres many more but thats all i can think of...
The different parts of the lawn have different soil/moisture/light and thus these plants are not scattered evenly throughout but concentrated in their best areas.
I used to always have johnny jump ups in my lawns but since I moved here about 5 years ago I have only been able to find hybrid ones that don't come back/self seed.
- X 3
In the back field I've got fruit trees and I want to kind of do meadow in between stuff. All the following can be cut down and will mostly come back or reseed, the main part I will be "mowing" or scything is the paths, and I'm considering just making a small chicken tractor to just move along the path to keep it more manageable. It will be an experiment.
I'm not totally sure about cutting down the lupines, but they are just so incredibly beautiful that I do want to include them.
CORN FLOWER -
medicinal and tea
annual, reseeds itself
has several uses
bees love them
Annual, reseeds itself easily
FEVERFEW - picture: http://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/images/feverfew_tanacetum_parthenium_img
there are some double varieties of this that are really pretty and they are perennial. the foliage is also nice, very lime greenish.
edible and medicinal
some are annual, some biennial
edible, bee plant, great chop and drop, cute white flowers, doesn't last long, will reseed
RUPTURE WORT (Herniaria Glabra) - really nice thick, growing mat of green, tolerates foot traffic.
PURPLE PRAIRIE CLOVER, little clumps, looks nice
little red flower
GERMAN CHAMOMILE - keep picking the flower heads and it will continue to bloom, and the heads are used for tea
annual, reseeds itself
SPRING CARPET ( Anacyclus pyrethrum)
(mine are an even deeper rich purple)
PURSLANE - low growing plant, you can walk on it, spreads out
Edible and incredibly nutritious
There are some incredibly beautiful MILLETS:
Picture: Foxtail Millet: http://www.forestryimages.org/images/768x512/5363653.jpg
Picture : pennisetum-fountain grass: http://www.plant-biology.com/Ornamental-millet.jpg
Picture: pearl millet http://thealternative.in/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/pearl-millet-2.jpg
Here are a few more to think about.
Consider adding a small amount of alfalfa, it is a forage legume, or partridge pea. Both fix nitrogen and enrich the soil.
In low meadows butterfly weed, asters, and Canada milk vetch add diversity. Also New Jersey Tea, coreopsis and goldenrod.
Seneca Meadows is a sight that has been restored with native warm season prairie in Savannah NY. I'm on the Board of Audubon NY and was there a few weeks ago because it was designated an Important Bird Area. These are tall grasses and flowers, not mowed except once or twice a year. They used Big and Little Blue stem, goldenrod, and even had a rare but native cup flower. Switchgrass and Indiangrass. Lots of Cattails in the wetland areas. Also milkweed and butterfly weed.
I also let cilantro, mint, chamomile, and oregano escape into my lawn. They aren't invasive, but aren't prolific either. I encourage the mint near my vegetable gardens or plants that I want to protect from pests.
Has anyone had any lucky with planting something and having it spread to take over their lawn? (other than mint! I have enough of that haha)
I'm interested in having a no mow lawn but REALLY want to do it the lazy gardener way - plant it and let it go where it will. It's mainly that we don't want to spend the money on a lawn mower. I'd rather go and buy a scythe and cut the lawn every so often to feed to chickens.I've convinced hubby that clovers and tall fescue will be sown this spring while it's still too muddy to do anything and hopefully some lovely crocus will be added this fall for next spring.
Also...does Yarrow really bloom when it's cut down to around 4/5 inches? I've only seen yarrow as these HUGE things..and the idea of it being all short just makes me curious.
I was hoping to switch to scything at about 10" and growing the 'lawn' for goat feed supplement. Too many visitors thought I was stupid and lazy, so 4 inches it is.
The longer I let it stay at 4" inches the more crocus, hyacinth, and pansy i see coming in. My hope is to get to a deciduous forest floor of ground cover and not really have grass.
My experiment has lead to an interesting invasion of Siberian Elm that can withstand the cutting. I have one 'yard' it is now about 30% covered with elm. If my new cordless electric mower will mulch that I can catch, I don't think it matters to the goats. They eat all the mulch cutting I can catch and give them, even if it is chopped up elm. I have seen yarrow taking hold too.
Since I never acquired the taste for dandelions that my goats have, I still remove them from the lawn, but the goats are disappointed,since the taller grass chokes them out.
My lawn looks great from the street, but is pretty mixed when you get out into it, which no one seems to care about. No fertilizers or additives, just water and cut.
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