This is an organic garden blog. You’re not going to find much about any of the conventional 4 step lawn programs here. In fact, you’re going to find a lot of scathing criticism, because, at least in my climate, our local “agricultural” school, UConn, only recommends fertilizing the lawn twice a year at most. (Yes, that school is known for more than its Women’s basketball program.) You can find that recommendation here, along with lots of other great lawn care information for Connecticut lawns.
But–and I’ve posted about this before–what if you don’t want your lawn to be all grass? Sacrilege, I know, but this past winter, I received mailings from two separate companies that were selling “lawn alternatives.” And by this, I don’t mean low growing “step on” type plants that we’ve seen in the past like creeping thyme (lovely but only in the right light and soil–which means not mine!)
The first company, Moss Acres, has been in business for decades. They sell different kinds of moss for all sorts of projects from pavers and patios to large projects like the north side of my home. I was lucky–my moss came in naturally. If you want to jump-start a project, this is the company for you!
They also have small quantities for terrariums and craft projects.
Those of you who are long time readers know that I adore my moss–to the Spoiler’s dismay sometimes. I am blessed with large quantities of it at various places on the property. It is one of the best qualities of our property. And it is highly sustainable, requiring nothing at all. In times of drought it may get brown-ish but it greens right up again as soon as we have the least little bit of moisture.
While this would never be an alternative for an arid climate, it’s certainly suitable for the Northeast, and anyplace with regular spring and autumn rains–as well as acidic soil.
The next company, OutsidePride, is selling seed for a type of clover it’s calling miniclover (and it has trademarked that name). A type of trifolium repens, this clover can be grown on its own or added to existing lawns. As someone who, again, has an abundance of natural clover in the lawn, I can attest to the benefits of clover in the lawn for a variety of reasons: it attracts pollinators like bees, both native bees and honeybees; for the most part it deters hungry rabbits from perennials and vegetables (although last year there were so many rabbits nothing deterred them); and it is food for some of the early butterflies like the clouded sulfur. What’s not to like?
OutsidePride also sells mixes for bees, cover crops, native grasses, and for something I just can’t fathom–deer food! To each her own I guess!