Eco-lawns, feedback requested

krystine(5AOntario)August 1, 2005

I've been researching no/low-mow lawns and wondered if anyone had any experience or had heard anything about eco-lawns? (I did a search here on gardenweb and all I could find were references to 'fleur de lawn' and none were in Canada).

Any feedback or insight would be much appreciated, thanks! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Eco-lawn Link

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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

It looks like Eco-lawn sells a fescue grass mix. Even short varities of fescue grow tall enough to need mowing, so if you don't want to spend much time or maintenence on a lawn then you might want to look at other alternatives. If you really want to go the "eco" route, then you should look into clover lawns. They only require mowing if you don't want the flowers, tey handle moderate traffic fairly well, they tolerate drought and soil compaction better than grass, and they are a natural nitrogen fixer, so they don't need fertilizer (well, maybe rarely).

The Ontario Seed Company has several lawn mixes.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 5:09PM
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Thanks for that link Bonnie, I appreciate it. I guess what I'm looking for is something that *looks* a lot like lawn, but doesn't require the mowing, watering, fertilizing, etc.

Anyone have any experience with clover lawns? Fescue lawns? other no mow lawn alternatives?

Thanks :)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 3:32PM
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There's is a new form of astro turf which does look like the authentic thing but it has downside. Instead of mowing, you'd have to do a lot of vacuuming. LOL --- sorry, I just thought that's funny.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 4:01PM
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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

There are neighbourhoods in Florida where many of the yards have rock lawns! They have the yard paved and then rocks are spread on top of it. It's not xeriscaping, in fact it is kind of the opposite, since the ground can't absorb any of the rain that falls - that's bad for the ole environment. I think it looks ugly as sin, but I guess some people think it's great :-)

I'm not a lawn expert by any means, I don't even have one, and if I ever move to a place with one, I'll probably be ripping much of it out, but I do know that if you want a nice looking lawn then you're going to have to water, fertilize and mow it - at least a bit. White clover is something I like but it's not perfect. It does have flowers which attract bees, and give people who like monoculture grass lawns major heebie-jeebies :-). Some people live in areas with homeowner covenants that prohibit it, or anything else that isn't grass, so make sure that you don't have a restriction like that if you're considering clover. Clover can spread to garden beds, especially if allowed to go to seed, but so can grass. One other benefit that many people with clover in their lawns have noticed is that deer and rabbits, when present, often prefer to eat the clover instead of their garden plants.

Most fescue grass is 'tall' fescue, which isn't what you're looking for - The "Eco-Lawn" fescues are probably some of the newer 'dwarf' fescues. I believe they're a fair bit more expensive than tall fescue or bluegrass (another very common grass here), but the amount of mowing needed will be less since they're slower growing. You'll need to water well in the first year after seeding, but since fescue roots go quite deep only occasional watering is needed in later years. If you buy a mulching mower then you won't need to fertilize very often, as the grass clippings compost into fertilizer.

I'd also suggest you go to the biggest/best nursery in your area (Not Home Depot or Walmart!) and hear what they have to say about what grows well in your area. If there's a master gardener group or program in your area you might be able to get some feedback from them as well.

And as far as maintenence goes, you can always hire a lawn care company, or the cheaper alternative of a neighbourhood teenager to mow the lawn and take care of other tasks :-)


    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 5:48PM
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Bonnie, This is the reason I am not fond of grass lawn, but I have to say, I did remove my front yard lawn and replaced it with pebbles bordered with my cottage garden beds. It looks absolutely great and best, I don't even have to do mowing. Cement front yards with stones on top - yuck as you said. But then didn't the pink flamingo garden accessoris start out somewhere in Florida?

Krystine, Let me tell you, if you want a lawn, there's no getting away from doing any form of maintenance work. I've kept my backyard lawn in deference to my husband's wishes. It needs regular maintenance work. You can look at a huge array of garden design magazines to seek a low maintenance garden of your choice but note, none look manicured. Many have a wild theme to it.

Perhaps a low growing thyme garden can work in your favor. Low watering needs, no mowing and there are several types of low creeping thyme so there's added interest there. Fragrant when you walk on it. The downside is that it's flowers attracts bees and insects. But I love my bees so I don't mind one bit. While it can tolerate some walking, it does start to show damage when walked on frequently.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 10:50AM
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Thanks everyone for all your replies and suggestions -- you've given me a lot of good ideas. It's too bad there's not a place nearby where I can see all these different types of eco-lawns (and run through them barefoot). I'm thinking of making the trip to the Wildflower Farm just to see what their eco-lawn looks like in person. If I get the chance to go, I'll report back and let you know what I find out ;)

Thanks again!


    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 10:08PM
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well_rooted(5, BC Canada)

I bought a low maintenace lawn seed from Bluestem Nursery called EnviroTurf. I really like it. It stops growing when the temperature is high, therefore it needs less mowing (and I have other lawns to compare it to). It needs almost no extra water either.

It looks just like a regular lawn too. Nice fine grass blades. Good green color.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bluestem Nursery

    Bookmark   August 23, 2005 at 7:23PM
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I wanted to give an update on the eco-lawn...

I called Wildflower Farm and got the name of a person in my area who has a 1 acre eco-lawn, so I drove out to take a look. It's very soft, and very green, and if it doesn't get mowed, it lays down quite nicely. The homeowner said they don't water or fertilize and very rarely cut it. What impressed me most is that this grass can grow in *really* sandy soil.

I've ordered the seed, have rounded-up my lawn, and will be sowing an eco-lawn in my front and backyard in the next week or so.

If anyone's interested, you can check my gardenblog in a few weeks to see how it's going.

Thanks again for all your responses!


Here is a link that might be useful: Krystine's Garden Blog

    Bookmark   September 5, 2005 at 9:05AM
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faerieannette(z7 MD)

I already have alot of tall fescue I was planning on winter sowinf this year. I did just find this though. Is anyone familular with it NoMow "Flowering Lawn"



Here is a link that might be useful: NoMow

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 7:15PM
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Sorry Annette -- I'm not familiar with that brand of grass seed. The pic on their site makes the grass look clumpy? And I didn't see any flowers in it... you might want to email them to confirm that is a pic of the grass and also see if they can put you in touch with people that have planted it.

I went out and took some pics of my newly sprouted eco-lawn today. I got a late start on sowing it (late Sept) and I think it's done fairly well filling in...I guess the real test is how it looks one or two summers from now.

Here is a link that might be useful: Krystine's Garden Blog - Ecolawn Update

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 10:23AM
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Developing your own ECO-LAWN is the best time investment you'll ever make!

I am experimenting with the best mix for our yard,

and every season the mix changes and improves!

Here is a link that might be useful: Also try putting various herbs right into the mix .

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 5:38PM
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I haven't personally seen a Eco Lawn, but along that lines - the NoMowGrass is really low maintenance.
It grows short naturally, and even shorter it seems yer after year. Weeds are less too.

I would never go with a grass so tall it folds over and trips you - who can walk through a lawn like that?...expecially as I get older!

Here is a link that might be useful: Ultra Low Lawn Grass seed that wont drive you crazy!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 12:45PM
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