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grow neat stuff in your lawn  RSS feed

 
Mike Roger
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I have three species of Chelone and Campanula in my garden. They grow best in a sunny bog and flower(white,pink,reddish-purple) very late in then season when most plants are considering going dormant for the fall.
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Mark Livett
Posts: 58
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Just Googling looking for ideas on how to do away with a lawn or at least, get a better return for all the effort put into maintaining one.

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.
 
S Carreg
Posts: 260
Location: De Cymru (West Wales, UK)
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I lead a herb walk at my cousin's house, almost entirely on the lawn! he mows sort of medium - higher than a conventional lawn but not as high as is recommended on here. There was yarrow, chamomile, plantain, dandelion, as well as ladies' mantle and self-heal which are fantastic and under-used medicinal herbs and seemed to do ok with mowing - the leaves and flowers were smaller than normal but seemed healthy. Oh, and wild sorrel.
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
9
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Wild violets do very well in a mowed lawn. I've got a yarrow patch in mine that has survived countless mowings. If the soil is moist mint may be able to grow there - we've had it grow out from where it belonged into the lawn and I loved mowing that area because of the minty smell! Grape hyacinth will grow in the lawn and spread as long as you can let the leaves grow - in areas where they're nearly done before the grass puts on much growth (depends on the climate and grass type, I guess). Sorrel is another lawn survivor that is edible, I remember as a kid eating sorrel leaves out of the lawn. The wood sorrel has nice little flowers, too.
 
Manfred Ramault
Posts: 18
Location: Tervuren, Belgium
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Lisa Stauber
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Mint- medicinal and food (it takes a LOT more than a lawn mower to get rid of mint- be careful, invasive!)
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.
 
minyamoo metzger
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I'd love to have a whole lawn of moss.
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)
 
Jocelyn Campbell
steward
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Location: Missoula, MT
338
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
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Thought I'd post these pics of the polyculture lawn at Caras Park in Missoula, Montana. These pics show yarrow, clover, and grasses, though it also had plantain and dandelions.





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Caras Park polyculture lawn
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Caras Park polyculture lawn closer
 
Melany Vorass
Posts: 11
Location: Seattle, WA
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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.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
steward
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Location: Missoula, MT
338
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
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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?
 
Melany Vorass
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Location: Seattle, WA
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This is what I think of when I hear the words "a well kept lawn."
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Melany Vorass
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Location: Seattle, WA
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... and if you call it an 'intentional garden' as I do, you can get by with really growing your lawn out!
968891_544071828977386_2005424025_n.jpg
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Jocelyn Campbell
steward
Posts: 3958
Location: Missoula, MT
338
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
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Lush foodie things--nice! I love those pics, Melany!
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1119
Location: northern northern california
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love the "well kept lawn" !

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...
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
69
bee books chicken forest garden fungi trees
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My lawn has white clover, sheep sorrel, dandelion, wild strawberry, yarrow, thyme, chamomile, gill-over-the-ground and both broad and narrow leafed plantain that get walked on a lot. Around the less trampled bits there are some lovely red clovers and common mallows. We eat all of those.
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.
 
Margie Nieuwkerk
Posts: 51
Location: Bulgaria, Zone 7/8
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I think some of the following might be really good candidates, I'm looking forward to trying a bunch of them myself this coming year.

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
info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornflower

LADIES BEDSTRAW
has several uses
Perennial
info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galium_verum

COSMOS
bees love them
Annual, reseeds itself easily

FEVERFEW - picture: http://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/images/feverfew_tanacetum_parthenium_img
medicinal
perennial
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feverfew
there are some double varieties of this that are really pretty and they are perennial. the foliage is also nice, very lime greenish.

POPPIES
edible and medicinal
some are annual, some biennial

BUCKWHEAT
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.
Picture: http://www.perennialmarketplace.com/_ccLib/image/plants/DETA-2422.jpg
Medicinal

LUPINES
http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/2d/6e/ca/2d6ecae81938bc0ed71447f24caf4a22.jpg
http://imgc.allpostersimages.com/images/P-473-488-90/27/2745/KYDTD00Z/posters/jamie-judy-wild-balsam-root-meadow-with-lupine-columbia-river-gorge-oregon-usa.jpg
http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/2f/02/e4/2f02e4605cfee822e3226f2fa4d35ca5.jpg
http://gossipinthegarden.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/DSC_0070-2-340x227.jpg


PURPLE PRAIRIE CLOVER, little clumps, looks nice
Picture: http://carlakeast.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/purple-prairie-clover.jpg
edible/medicinal
perennial
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)
Picture: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3526/3980694122_ca6be5301d_z.jpg
medicinal
perennial
drought tolerant

PURPLE PLANTAIN
medicinal
perennial
Picture: http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/95/94/1b/95941be453ea21d3b77f975d8d4dba32.jpg
(mine are an even deeper rich purple)

PURSLANE - low growing plant, you can walk on it, spreads out
Picture: http://lebanesegarlicsauce.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/purslane_fm.jpg
Edible and incredibly nutritious
annual

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

GOLDENROD
medicinal

WHITE VALERIAN
Medicinal

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 21077
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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A few years ago I was asked to speak on "alternatives to lawn" and I asked "you mean something that you can walk/play on, but it might produce food, herbs and flowers?" And they responded with something like "why can't you ever just answer the question?" So I think they mean tearing out the lawn to grow a garden instead - and their frustration is because the ideas in this thread are just a little too foreign.
 
Diane Lewis
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So many wonderful suggestions!
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.
 
Marianne West
Posts: 131
Location: Lemon Grove, CA
6
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I found this company, researching drought tolerant and step tolerant plants
http://www.stepables.com
My only problem is that the plants I think will work in San Diego with very low water requirement cannot be shipped to CA
 
Starr Brainard
Posts: 39
Location: Duluth, MN
books dog urban
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This is all great! Is anyone on this thread working in significantly drier climates? I am trying to find a durable drought and heat resistant placement for grass for a children's park and playground I am designing.

~Starr
 
Jessica Hill
Posts: 23
Location: Schoharie County, NY
1
chicken forest garden hugelkultur
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This is a lovely thread!

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.
 
Tyson Coppola
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Does anybody have any ideas for mixes to be used over a septic field that receives full sun in zone 9b?
 
Ty Morrison
Posts: 173
Location: Boise, Idaho (a balmy 7a)
15
chicken goat solar trees urban wofati
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I over-seeded my 'lawns' with Rye, Buckwheat and Vernal Alfalfa two years ago. They alfalfa has done well at the edges, clumping into shrubby heights. The buckwheat just didn't get enough sun (my yard is well shaded with tree canopy).The rye looks like most of the other grasses, when I cut to 4 inches.

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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