Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rethinking lawns and yard space

Lawns usually require the most energy and water in landscaped spaces. The Ecological Landscape Association recommends allowing grass to grow longer between mowings and letting lawns go dormant during the height of summer. Using seed mixes that tolerate drought and resist disease are also beneficial. Local landscapers often use Ecoblend, Pearls Premium and Pennington's Smart Seed. Of course, if your lifestyle allows it, forgoing or limiting grass in the overall landscape works too. Groundcovers can easily replace grass especially on steep slopes that are too dangerous to mow. I have also seen show-stopping perennial gardens take the place of traditional front yards. Many folks are now using edible landscaping instead of grass. Of course, a really low-maintenance option is to use wood chips (or gravel for more urban sites.) Providing a thick cover of material is applied, the area will be virtually free of any needed landscape management, energy expenditure or watering.

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