converting lawn to all native, local laws regaurding it

ficus-spider-manMay 26, 2007

I live in St paul MN, Do you know what the city would say if later on (when my dad moves out, I plan to stay here possibly when that happens), I converted the front and back yard to pure Native plantings, A shade garden, a shady prarie garden and a carifious forest loor. Our property has large trees, A norway spruce, a ironwood and a ormental elm. I dont like lawn work and we have a weed city in some areas.

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Google only came up with an ordinance about the height of plants allowed on boulevards.

But I know they have regulations about height of weeds and lawns. I received a warning about the height of some weeds along a fence in the alley one year, but they have never said anything about the ornamental grass elsewhere in the yard that grows over five feet tall.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 8:55PM
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The MN DNR has some websites showcasing landscaping with native plants in the Metro area... never could put up a link that actually worked, but try

You've probably run across most of this in your "idea stage" for converting to natives, but in all the available info from the DNR there must be a key to local regs or at least as to what is generally considered acceptable on one's own property.

We had a few hotly contested incidents when I lived in Maryland. And it was decided that there was a big difference between simply letting a yard revert to unkempt weeds and gardening with native plants.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 12:04PM
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zenpotter(z4 MN)

I am in the process of converting my yard to natives as well. So far so good. I know Minneapolis encourages it, but I have never really looked that up. I do know about the 3' rule on boulevards and that no edible plants. I would suggest not to many grasses that spread fast. They end up looking like a weed patch to your neighbors. I have native beds and have gotten blooming boulevard awards from the city so they don't seen to mind.

I posted to your question about nurseries and was then going to send you an email to see if you wanted to arrange a trade. Since you don't have an email address here I couldn't if you care to make a trade email me.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 9:26AM
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I think your safest bet is to call the city and ask them. Giving them a head's up rather than surprising them could also save you a little difficulty later on.

I have a half acre yard in the western 'burbs and it's all garden, no turfgrass. I worked with my city to insure I had no problems, even though one sourpuss neighbor tried to give me some grief over it. Oh, I fully informed the neighbors too and took into account the impact of my plantings on their yards (unlike the idiots that planted a willow where it will eventually shade out the only place I have for a vegetable bed).

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 7:16AM
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steve_o(4a MN)

I've been talking to a couple of landscaping firms about doing just that, and they told me they've worked in St. Paul (where I live) without issue. I have discussed my plans with my (city lot) neighbors because I know full well the lawn will look like $@#& for a few years and I want them to be prepared for that. They've been positive about it. I've decided to wait until next year, though, for the conversion from lawn to native plants.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 9:14PM
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