Weekly Green Tip: How to Simplify Your Space ☘️🌱

How to Simplify Your Space ☘️🌱

May 21st, 2024

We are constantly simplifying landscapes with the beauty of our low-mow lawn conversions! Why not let that mower collect some dust?… This winter, our Maintenance & Restoration team nurtured several new eco-friendly lawns to fruition. Because it’s net-positive for both the client and the local ecosystem, we promote it every chance we get. Plus, it’s such a straight-forward process that anyone can do it! Today, we’ll walk you through our steps to achieving an eco-friendly, low-mow lawn… **

 

STEP 1: SELECT YOUR SPECIES

Although clover is the most common choice for eco-friendly lawns, we’d suggest researching other ground cover species and see if any others entice you. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a mix. We love white/micro clover, Dichondra, native violets, partridgeberry, creeping thyme. If foot traffic isn’t a major concern, consider adding wild geraniums, creeping phlox, wild ginger, and strawberry. Many of these aren’t commonly available as seeds, so you might need to combine planting with seed sowing. 

 

Creeping phlox occupying a tree cavity in East Atlanta.

 

STEP 2: LAWN BE GONE

You can rid yourself of your sod/grass in many different ways. If you have the time, some folks opt to solarize their lawn, which is the act of “baking” the plant material over time using plastic tarps. CoFo tends to go for manually removing the lawn and then adding a nice spread of compost for optimal seed germination. Make sure to remove the roots as well, so the old lawn doesn’t get any ideas and pop back up. 

Fresh lawn removal with some compost ready to spread. Keep reading to see the end result!

 

STEP 3: SOWING SEED

In Atlanta, we’ve found that the ideal germination period for our mix of clover and dichondra to be in the springtime when soil temperatures are traveling through the 60-70 degree range. If you’re throwing clover seed, keep in mind that it can germinate in soil temperatures well into the 40s! That means we can seed clover in Atlanta throughout the winter. Spread the seed mixture evenly across the prepared soil. For large areas, use a broadcast spreader; for smaller areas, feel free to sow by hand. It’s good to gently tamp the seeds into the earth as well. We use a nifty lawn roller (see below) but baby steps around the lawn will work too! Finally, spread some seeding straw around the sown area for both erosion control and additional moisture retention. 

Seeding nitrogen-fixing clover will bolster the soil fertility and hold moisture. A dream scenario for this close-by serviceberry.

 

STEP 4: IRRIGATION AND GERMINATION

Regardless of the time of year, give the seeded area a good and thorough watering. Avoid soaking the ground but more-so a gentle spritz to get the ground moist. We’ll set up an irrigation timer and sprinkler for an automatic daily spritz until germination is successful. Continue to water regularly during dry periods to promote healthy growth. 

 

STEP 5: REAP WHAT YOU SOW… LITERALLY

Time to enjoy not mowing every week! So, take the extra time to sit back, relax, and watch the pollinators enjoying your beautiful new lawn. The finished product! BOOK WITH US FOR A LOW-MOW LAWN

(https://communityfoodscapes.org/pages/consultation)