'Ecology Lawn' as an alternative?
I originally posted the following on the Lawns forum and a suggestion was made that I pose the question here as well to take full advantage of other perspectives. Sorry for the length of the post, just wanted to lay out the whole situation for your consideration.
Last fall we moved to a new (to us) home whose lawn is pretty rough to say the least. I've hesitated to undertake any major lawn renovation as 1)lawns have never taken a high priority with me and 2)I've been in the process of reducing the areal coverage of the lawn through creation of garden beds of various sorts and didn't really want to end up tearing up a lawn I'd spent alot of time whipping into shape. These various beds command a majority of my outdoor time and will continue to do so, but I would like to do something to improve the rather bedraggled lawn I've inherited. It is essentially a fescue and bluegrass lawn (occasionally pretty patchy which the dandelions are loving) with some encroaching bermudagrass from the neighbors that I've just about got beat. The soil trends toward a clayier loam, and high temps and droughty conditions dominate in July and August. The questions I have are: What should be my priority in helping this lawn recover to a reasonable level? Currently I'm planning to core aereate (which I've never done) and overseed this fall.
I have recently seen a lawn mix which has various names: Ecology Mix, "Fleur de Lawn", Ecoturf, etc. that contains a mix of dwarf perennial ryegrass and, depending on variety, a short fescue (Eureka) as a base with a mix of herbaceous plants in various combinations that include things like English Daisy, Roman Chamomile, Yarrow Millefolium, Sweet Alyssum, and Strawberry Clover. Could this be overseeded into my current yard or would this be difficult to accomplish? To me this would be ideal as I'm looking to have a low maintainence lawn (both in terms of mowing, fertilizing, and watering requirements) without having to start from scratch and a perfect grass only lawn just isn't for me (hey, a few dandelions and some clover never bothered me before). Anybody know of or actually have an "ecology lawn"? Please help me sort this out, hopefully I've given you enough to go on.