The Lawn of the Future by Patti Moreno, the Garden Girl
America is lawn obsessed and has been since the 1950’s. The environmental impact of having a traditional lawn is staggering. The energy used to maintain a traditional lawn, the chemical pesticides and fertilizers that are used are poisons and the amount of money spent on lawns can run you thousands. The gas powered lawn mowers, blowers, and edge trimmers pollute the air, are too noisy and require yearly maintenance. Using a gas powered lawn mower for one hour is equal to driving a car for 350 miles. Americans spend an average of 30 billion dollars a year to maintain their lawns making turf big business and US lawns use 270 billion gallons of water PER WEEK.
In Canada they have banned the use of petrochemical fertilizers all together and it’s time for Americans to rethink their lawns. The statistics are really mind boggling. For me I wanted to stop being part of the problem and become part of the solution. After planting a variety of trees, shrubs, and native plants in my landscape there was still an area that I wanted to add grass. The area is quite challenging because of the tree canopy making the area very shady. I had heard about fescue grasses as a variety of grass that is more environmentally friendly and many experts out there recommend planting tall fescue grasses. Over the past few years I tried a variety of grass seed blends that contained fescue grasses without solid results. It proved to be more challenging than I thought.
Last year I was introduced to Eco-Lawn grass seed. Eco Lawn grass seed is made up of 7 different fine fescue grasses. These fine fescue grasses have thin blades with 9” to 12” deep roots. It’s environmentally friendly because the thin grass blades don’t need a lot of water to grow and the long roots allow the grass to access water deeper in the ground. These fine fescues are drought tolerant requiring 75% less water than a traditional lawn. It can grow in the poorest of soils and doesn’t require fertilizers. There’s a significant money savings as well. In fact, according to the manufacturers, you can save up to $6500 over a ten year period per 1000sqft of lawn on installation and maintenance. The fine fescues’ slow growth keeps the grass shorter longer requiring less mowing than a traditional lawn. It is so beautiful when fully grown that you can opt to not mow at all. But best of all for me, it can be used in full sun, but also thrives in the shade!
It all seemed too good to be true. After visiting, Steve, a Cape Cod, Massachusetts resident who has an established Eco-Lawn, I decided to try it. Last fall, I installed my Eco-Lawn. I planted the seed in areas that had no grass and also in areas where I wanted to convert the existing lawn (if you can call it that) and made a video about the whole process. Installation is easy, just rake the area of all debris and spread the seed evenly using the recommended amount for your area. Water consistently for about a month until the lawn is establishes. Depending on when you start your lawn you’re going to want to add more seeds to any patchy areas. Don’t for get to watch my step by step video on how to start an Eco Lawn with tips on how to convert your existing lawn. Now that spring is here, I couldn’t be more pleased with the results.
Some forward thinking garden centers carry eco-lawn, but if you’re ready to start your own Lawn of the Future, Wildflower Farm, the makers of Eco-Lawn, are generously offering a 10% discount to USL Magazine readers. Go to their website http://www.wildflowerfarm.com to get your grass seed today, then at checkout just use the discount code GGTV to receive 10% on your eco–lawn order. The discount is valid thru the end of May 2010. A 5lb bag of eco-lawn grass seed covers 1000sqft of space and now is the perfect time to give it a try. Visit my message board and post any questions or images of your eco-lawn at http://www.gardengirltv.com/messageboard.
Patti Moreno is the host of http://www.gardengirltv.com and contributor to Organic Gardening, Fine Gardening, the Huffington Post and the Farmers Almanac . She publishes the web magazine http://www.urbansustainableliving.com and she answers questions at http://www.gardengirltv.com/messageboard. She is the Co-Host of Growing a Greener World and the number one gardening expert on Youtube. Buy Patti’s 4hr DVD at www.olivebarn.com
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