The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about the resurgence of meadows as a landscape feature instead of lawns. There are many reasons they cite for the value of having a meadow including lower water consumption, more natural look and easier on the environment (no chemical fertilizers).
Experts say meadows take up to three years to become fully established and here’s how to do it.
1. Get rid of your lawn. Apply herbicide, once in fall and once in spring, to get the job done fast. A nonchemical route involves ‘smothering’ the lawn with cardboard and mulch and waiting a year, says Neil Diboll, president of Prairie Nursery. Don’t till or rake, which may bring up unwanted seeds.
2. Consider the soil, and ask a local nursery for advice about what grows best in your area.
3. Select grass as well as flowers. Aim for a 50-50 mix.
4. Start planting. Seeds take longer, but they are more cost-effective than ‘plugs’ or tiny plants. In general, use 10 to 20 pounds of seed per acre.
5. Maintain. In Year One, mow or whack to keep the meadow at 6 to 12 inches. Once established, it needs mowing just once a year.
photo: Ferncreek Design
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Founder/EIC at Charles & Hudson
Timothy’s background includes stints at This Old House, ELLE DECOR, Metropolitan Home and Woman’s Day. His work has been published on Wired Design, Bob Vila, DIY Network, The Family Handyman and Popular Mechanics and he has been featured on the Martha Stewart radio show and as a speaker at the ALT Design Summit, K/BIS and the National Hardware Show.