Have you converted your lawn into another form of landscape in order to save water?
Many people are either eliminating lawn or reducing its size in order to live more economically and with greater concern for the environment. Your thoughts?
I had the size of my lawn reduced at my old home and used drought tolerant plants. At my current home, I have a smaller lawn and mostly hardscape which has saved us a lot of water.
Definitely an easy way to reduce water usage! I bet your glad you did it!
Thanks! I agree that this is a great way to go. I like a small lawn because it feels nice underfoot and looks lush under the tree canopy. Natural river rock borders frame our curved beds of drought tolerant plants, smaller trees, and shrubs.
We have a water reserve tank for rain water its gravity feed. Eliminating lawn size would be counter productive as our yard is part of a working farm. We do not water the grass, it just keeps growing,,, We had some chickens at one time. They have a lot of nitrogen in their waste and tend to reduce the grass size. Unfortunately the coyote like to eat the chickens. The pastures contain cattle they love to eat grass and have their own well. I would love to have some goats to keep the front yard manicured(seriously). I don't know how well the government would enjoy that idea though. We looked into growing mushrooms they are said to be a great cash crop and the government will plant the spores for you. Then you have to have a way to transport them to local businesses. We just weren't into that sort of commitment. I read you can make edible flower beds that could be neat. I would love some grape and blueberries plants instead of regular flowers. You just have to be careful with what you chose. I recall the government intentionally planting Kudzu to reduce soil erosion. Though it has many uses and is even edible. Kudzu takes over everything even power poles! Planting food close to the house could promote wildlife to come close to the house. This would be great if you want to bait a specific animal. We love deer meat but just as the kudzu you have to watch. Last year a lot of the dears died due to the spotted fever. I think if you are going to dual purpose your lawn you should cross reference local animals and government regulations. Sometimes being conservative isn't for the faint of heart but definitely a lot of fun.
We are continuing to reduce lawn size and create naturalized areas that can pretty much take care of themselves. That includes using drought-tolerant plants (good thing they didn't drown with this year's amazing rains!), stepping stones rather than sidewalk-style walkways, rock gardens, mulches, and more.
Managing the environment presents more difficult problems though--fire ants being one example. They love lawns, they love planters, they love mulch, they love rock beds, they thrive in wet weather or dry, and they are intrusive, vicious, and dangerous. One issue with them is that their beds are much easier to spot in a lawn than in a natural landscape. As well, our naturescapes have to be watched for yellow jackets, another dangerous insect.
RTalloni, Several people have told me that fire ants do not like citrus oil, either lemon or orange, and will leave the area. Maybe that would be an option for you.
Following nature's lead is smart design! Ants can be a big problem. I use fine mesh over the drainage holes in planters and agree that citrus and herbal oil sprays are very effective. I'd suggest hanging wasp traps for those yellow jackets too.
One of the driving principles behind the work at Terraforma Underground Project is to create Earth Sheltered (Underground homes) that blend into the environment. In places where grass grows naturally, it helps choke other plants that might have more invasive root systems that would cause damage to a structure. Grass also prevents erosion. That said, grass grows where grass grows but if you are in an environment like a pine forest (pines are highly acidic) it is best to find another more natural type of ground cover. I am particularly fond of a covering of pine needles in a look of slightly managed forest. It is a look that occurs naturally under a healthy canopy. Best of all, the scene remains pristine for future generations to enjoy!
In this application, I can see how grasses would be really beneficial. I actually love naturalized grasses rather than standard turf grass. One of my favorites is uncut creeping red fescue or the sporobolus varieties of prairie grass. Thanx.
It's a great idea. You can do many different things to your lawn! Eco-landscaping features plants and shrubs that require very little water to survive. Adding stones and pebbles is another great idea that you integrate into this. Try looking into DRIP LINE IRRIGATION! Saves water & money!
Here are some basic tips that will help get you in the right direction: patioproductions.com/blog/news/how-to-water-your-lawn-this-summer-and-conserve-water/
Aside from that, EDIBLE GARDENS are always a fun treat! Let me know if you need any clarification on this as I would be happy to provide more details or point you to some great sources!
Yes, I have. Since I live on the edge of the woods, I have let my lawn convert to wildflowers and clover. I maintain just a walking path around my rain garden and other gardens. The birds and wildlife love it as much as I do! Luckily, I don't have a homeowner's association to dictate to me, and that's a very good thing.
Wow! That is a great idea. You know what, I am so much interested about this kind of stuff. I pay so much attention to our pool coping because I really love to make the outdoors more inviting. I have installed travertine pool coping lately and I really love it. If you want one for your outdoors too, check this out. http://www.travertine-pavers-direct.com/contact-us.html
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