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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Murray KY, USA
    Posts
    263

    Default Tired of my lawn.

    Ok, so let me pick your brains. Zone 6b, kentucky.. What are some good lawn alternatives? I'm going to seed down some clover in the front and want some more to mix in. I'd considered Yarrow, heck still am, but getting mixed signals about if bees like it. I don't plan on mowing but once every week or less, highest setting. The state department also did a number on the front and ditched it out to the point where I can-not-mow at all there, so I'll be seeding it out with several perennials which will also surely include the above.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    southwest colorado
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Tired of my lawn.

    If you are trying to grow some forage for your bees , mowing weekly is going to hinder that . The constant mowing will prohibit flowering . Yarrow , atleast here in Colorado , is a very invasive species so use caution when planting it . Alot of what you possibly can plant depends on the amount of water you have available . I am going to guess that if you are replacing a lawn , then irrigation is not a problem ? Is your house in a rural setting or in the suburbs?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    597

    Default Re: Tired of my lawn.

    You did not really say how big the yard is. I have seen several yards that use native plants arranged in beds that are allowed to grow to full growth. There is just a path running between them that you can either rock or mow. Your local Conservation Office may have some suggestions or sell the native plants. Ours did their sale last weekend.

    http://mdc.mo.gov/your-property/wild...kyard-wildlife

    I have seen several yards laid out like this and they are both visually appealing and functional. Isabees back yard and bee yard in South St. Louis is laid out like this. Food for bees usually is made up of native weeds that most try to keep out of the grass.

    I have an acre that I densely planted with native trees 15 years ago. They provide a variety of pollen for the bees. I planted a section with alfalfa last fall and plan to let it grow out. When it stops flowering, I will cut and compost it. I have a veggie garden and several strawberry beds scattered thru the property. Other parts have flowers. One section has a native cane thicket I cut for blinds. I am setting out some blackberry vines this spring for berries and bees. It sucks to mow it, but provides wildlife cover and a food source for birds, squirrels, rabbits, deer, and of course bees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,588

    Default Re: Tired of my lawn.

    Quote Originally Posted by jdmidwest View Post
    I am setting out some blackberry vines this spring for berries and bees. It sucks to mow it, but provides wildlife cover and a food source for birds, squirrels, rabbits, deer, and of course bees.
    Why not use thornless blackberry varieties? And don't forget that with thornless varieties even humans can enjoy harvesting the berries for food.

    It may be getting a bit late to transplant bare root blackberries this year, but this gives you an idea of what is available:
    http://www.alcasoft.com/pense/blackberry.html

    I can recommend Pense Nursery highly. Good plants, good prices, and good service!
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    597

    Default Re: Tired of my lawn.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Why not use thornless blackberry varieties? And don't forget that with thornless varieties even humans can enjoy harvesting the berries for food.

    It may be getting a bit late to transplant bare root blackberries this year, but this gives you an idea of what is available:
    http://www.alcasoft.com/pense/blackberry.html

    I can recommend Pense Nursery highly. Good plants, good prices, and good service!
    They are thornless hybrids. Berries are as big as my thumb. Replanting them on my property from another location.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Murray KY, USA
    Posts
    263

    Default Re: Tired of my lawn.

    As far as forage goes, we've got....

    1 apple, 3 pear, 2 cherry, 1 aronia (soon more), 2 plum, 3 chinese chestnuts (crazy pollen amounts and sickening sweet smelling when they're blooming), blackberry bramble, 50x30 garden plot full, for what it's worth- corn fields all around with a soy rotation and tobacco depending on the farmer, plus I'm right by a college which is well planted with flowers every year thanks to the Ag aspects. Oh, and the Ag nursery is right down the road.

    So, not 100% worrying about the bees in terms of forage. Just want to go with a more cottage look. Front yard is suffering more than the back, with bare spots under the chestnuts and a pile of other issues, so thought I'd do that up.. I highly doubt that I'd end up mowing it more than once every other week.

    Yarrow is not on the states invasive species list and is actually native to Kentucky. I can certainly attest to how it spreads, though. We've got a few patches in the flower beds. If it's mowed and does not go to seed it will not spread. It typically has to grow over 2-3' in order to send blooms up, and has a slower growth rate than most yard weeds.

    UK has a nice native page up, which I was also looking at. For the ditch, I was going to add in clover, yarrow, hyssops and a few others not exactly native to KY.
    http://www.uky.edu/Ag/Horticulture/g...owers/abaj.htm

    I'm also looking at getting some more Shrubby St. John's Wort.. Bees LOVE that stuff and it blooms for a good while. We had a few shrubs when we moves in but I eventually needed to take them out. Wish I'd air layered the branches and planted off a few others around the yard.

    The front yard is roughly 1/4 acre. It's a 1/4 [house] 3/4 split on just a hair over 1 acre.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Essex IA USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Tired of my lawn.

    Birds foot trefoil.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Tired of my lawn.

    Clover is good, non-native, but non-invasive. Also think about fruit trees, many dwarf varieties make good shrubs, ornamentals, and espaliers. Yearly blooms and fruit if you take care of them.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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