Maintaining a lawn is expensive and time consuming. We spend countless hours fertilizing, watering, weeding and mowing our lawns and just as many hours complaining about how our neighbour’s lawn is greener. Lawns are overrated and unnecessary, especially if you don’t have kids or pets. They harm the environment with all the chemicals used to kill weeds and the air pollution created by gas lawn mowers. As well, watering grass that no one ever uses is a waste of resources.
On the other hand, replacing your lawn with wildflowers is a smart, economical and eco-friendly alternative. Wildflowers are easy to grow and very low maintenance. Once established, they don’t require any fertilizers or much watering. Plus, wildflowers provide food and shelter for butterflies, bees and birds. And it’s a lot more attractive than a green patch behind or in front of your house.
Convinced that wildflowers are the answer to your lawn mowing woes? Here are some tips to get you started:
- First you need to remove the existing grass, either with a shovel or sod cutter. Be sure to remove the roots. Or if you have the time and patience, you can wait for the grass to decompose by placing layers of mulch and newspapers on the grass until the grass dies. This will take a few months.
- Try to minimize weeds before planting. One way to do this is by solarizing them, using the sun’s heat to kill the seeds. After the sod has been removed, water the soil and cover it with sheets of plastic for a few weeks until the weeds have died.
- Choose a wildflower seed mix that is native to your area, as this will reduce the need to water them. These plants have been evolved to thrive under natural rainfall
- Maintain the wildflower meadow by mowing it once a year. Reseed when necessary and provide irrigation during hot summer months.
- Some popular wildflowers to try: African daisy, bachelor’s button, black-eyed susans, cosmos, Indian blanket, and purple coneflower.
The initial preparation will take some time and effort, but in the long run, it will be well worth it! Not only will you be helping the environment, you will have more time and resources to spend on the things that you truly enjoy! Besides, who wants to spend their weekends mowing the lawn?