Here is the beginning of a drastic transformation from Bermuda grass and Asiatic jasmine to biodiversity:
I'd love to connect with people who like my subject line. Maybe posting this subject will even get crawled by google so another no-gas-powered-lawn-care person in Florida's Big Bend region will find me and respond. I've walked my extended neighborhood daily for many months at all different hours of the day and sort of made friends with a few women down the block, including one gardener who seems as passionate/compulsive as I am, but I believe neighborhood friendships must be cultivated like perennial plants, meaning sometimes leaving them ALONE for months at a time. Or, not like plants at all, waiting for them to reciprocate a random visit after I've been to their place more than once in a row. We gardeners seem to walk more in the winter! And lots of us also seem to be offline and unplugged.
I am the only one on my street who doesn't mow. Instead, everything I do is with small creatures in mind. My favorite tool is a thing that handles like a golf club or field hockey stick and has an angled short double edge serrated blade at the ground end . I have seen them at more than one hardware store locally.
I like to think of my place as a suburban mini-wildlife refuge especially for reptiles and amphibians and pollinators. I have used electric string trimmers (with metal blade attachment) and reciprocating saws because when I bought my half-acre, it was overgrown to the point of being dangerous or unhealthy for me and the trees. A half-acre doesn't sound like much, but the dozens of mature loblolly pines and the sixty-five year old azalea bushes amplify x 4. But now that the Asiatic jasmine etc is down to a dull roar or in many places completely eradicated, I continue my work with hand tools that aren't too heavy or powerful for me. I'm gardening by myself because my husband has mosquito, tick, snake, and bird poop phobias, and gardening reminds him of something horrible in his past. When we first moved here, I finally had to just put my hands over my ears every time he mentioned renting a gas powered brush mower and enforce: NO. I bought the property with my savings so I am the oligarchy. The amount of his own money he puts in me and this place works out to be a fair rent to charge. TMI? But it is a key detail about my no-mowing. Lots of personal posts like this appear in other forums, such as city-data or houzz. It shows I am not a bot. The more relevant content, the more google crawls.
My approach is weed, feed, weed. I feed with city truck wood chip mulch, earthworm castings, rock dust from Nevada, kitchen scraps, my tinkle. I remove non-native vines and native ones that draw blood. I remove non-natives that threaten to become mono-culture by the square yard. I welcome infestations of non-native plants if they don't threaten my trees, block my narrow path, or make me look too irresponsible. I chop the coral ardesia and nandina off at the ground whenever I find them. I go samuri on privet unless it hosts birds. I try to id all plants I encounter within my boundaries.
I have a youtube channel and here is the second in a playlist of videos that may all be relevant to people on permies.com:
The above video title page should be a pie diagram...if it is still giant screaming red letters my apologies and please wait for the youtube database to update.
What a show! What atmosphere! What fun! What a tiny ad!