My New Eco-Lawn
May 27, 2010
A few months ago, I read a local news story about a woman who planted an eco friendly lawn. It was a grass seed mix that was developed by the Oregon State University. “The blend requires less water consumption, no chemical fertilizers and needs less frequent mowing. This means less time and money spent on lawn care even as it stays lush and green… This summer, as her neighbor’s lawns leaned toward a brownish tint despite frequently watering, [hers] stayed green. This was due to the mixture’s variety of drought tolerant plants. She also has found less moss since using the eco-lawn mix.” Unfortunately, this was news worthy because here Home Owner’s Association was making her remove it. I tell you, there is nothing that makes people want something more than telling them they can’t have it, and I wanted this lawn (luckily, there is no HOA for me). This was good advertisement for eco friendly lawns.
The mix in this story was called Fleur-de-Lawn made by Hobbs and Hopkins LTD. They used things like English Daisy and clover instead of pure grass. The clover puts nitrogen back into the soil, acting like a natural fertilizer, and is more drought resistant than grass.
Local News Agency Story on Eco-Lawns: http://www.protimelawnseed.com/pages/testimonials
While looking for this mix, I came across Earth Turf, which also uses clover to minimize fertilizer use, chemicals, and watering.
Washington State University King County Extension put out a posting about eco lawns, which also had a link to Seattle Public Utilities’s thoughts on ecoturf . Both recommended the Fleur-de-Lawn, and also suggested Albany, Oregon’s Nichols Garden Nursery (whom I like because of vegetable and herb seed varieties) and their ecology lawn mixtures. Nichol’s and Fleur-de-Lawn both use clover, wild English daisies, yarrow, and baby blue eyes.
Just for comparison, I looked up the Scotts Turf Builder Pacific Northwest Mix. For starters, I have no idea what kind of grass it was using, so that was frustrating. It also claimed to reduce moss like the Fleur-de-lawn testimony story, and it needs less water to get started due to the seeds being covered. It is much cheaper per pound, but requires more seed per square foot. In fact, for half the price of 1 lb of Fleur de Lawn, you can get three pounds of Scotts, but it only covers half as much lawn, so you end up paying the same amount as Fleur de Lawn to get the same coverage. I also figure Scotts will cost me more in the end due to water, fertilizer, gas to mow it, and my time it takes to maintain it.
Thing is, we will have a beautiful, green lawn that will be soft to walk on bare footed without all the work and money!