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21st Century Lawn

In the midst of upheaval as the climate changes, one thing is certain: our weather patterns have turned severe. This shift has us modifying the way we garden so we can accommodate these environmental extremes and perhaps show Mother Nature a little TLC at the same time. The lawn in particular is seeing a revolution. From eco-friendly maintenance practices to alternative “grasses,” lawns are making the leap into the 21st century.

The first step toward growing a 21st century lawn is to change your image of what a lawn should look like. A lawn can be a mix of grass types or perhaps a groundcover. If you want the traditional turf, adjust your expectations from pristine to a more Zen appearance. During periods of drought, it’s okay for your grass to brown up and accepting that maybe a weed or two is acceptable if it means you can avoid using harsh herbicide. Does your lawn really have to be the uniform velvet green only achieved through heavy applications of chemical fertilizers? Additionally, a side benefit for your mental health is that it can be quite liberating to let go of the idea of the golf-course perfect, traditional lawn.

The contemporary lawn is low maintenance.

Maintenance of a 21st Century Lawn

Watering a Lawn

Troy-Bilt Riding Lawn Mower

Mowing a Lawn

Nutrients for a Healthy Lawn

Ornamental Grass Groundcover as an Alternative Lawn

Grass Alternatives

The mono-species, carpet of green that most people envision when they hear the word lawn is a relatively new concept. Before WWII most lawns were made up of a mixture of grasses, clover and what, until the past several years, we’d consider weeds. The introduction of synthetic fertilizers and herbicides coupled with a heavy migration to the suburbs birthed the notion of a weed-free, plush expanse of grass. With the rise of organics and a preference for earth-friendly methods, the pre-WWII lawn is seeing a renaissance.

Alternative Grass Lawn at P. Allen Smith's Moss Mountain Farm

Drought-tolerant Varieties
Fine-bladed fescues and buffalo grass are just two of the many options available that are more able to withstand infrequent watering.

Mix Clover with Grass to Add Nitrogen

Miniature Clovers
Miniature clovers are popular because they are low maintenance and because they add nitrogen back to the soil. There has been resurgence of the pre-WWII lawn and a mix of clover and grass will continue to grow in popularity in the 21st century.

Moss is a Good Groundcover in Shady Areas

For a shady area with acidic soil, moss will do wonders as a groundcover. You can purchase moss starter mixes or just make your own by blending 1 part moss, 3 parts beer and 1 part white sugar.