Lawn Top Dressing

d.k

Sprout
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Points
6
Location
Southeast coast of Florida
* Oh, and ryegrasses, annuals and perennials, carry endophytes as well, sorry to say. Having sheep, you may have hear of the illness called "ryegrass staggers"?? Wanta guess what causes it? :/
 

Tutter

Deeply Rooted
Joined
May 12, 2008
Messages
865
Reaction score
1
Points
104
Location
N. California
:yuckyuck

I remember when they began playing the BBC show on our L.A. PBS station, in the late 70's. I never missed an episode; I loved it! :)
 

Razer

Sprout
Joined
Oct 24, 2020
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
Points
8
Pat wrote: "My first tip is that you need to recognize that the photos you see on the labels of "Wildflower Meadow In A Can" and so forth are TOTALLY COMPLETLEY HUGELY BOGUS ;) They do NOT represent anything that you can easily establish in a typical lawn without a huge amount of work, some years of waiting and working, and quite frankly *avoidance* of any cheap 'wildflower meadow in a can' type products ;)

Also recognize that flowers, virtually all of them (but see below), are significantly taller than people mow their lawn grass. Thus, if you want purty flowers in your lawn you have to NOT MOW. (Or mow just once in early spring and once int he fall). Is this acceptible to you.

If it is, next time you are driving down the highway with the lovely wildflower type meadows or solid blocks of crimson clover or whatever you're admiring at the moment, pull over onto the shoulder somewhere safe and hop out real quick and walk up to the actual patch of flowers. Take a close, hard look. You will see that what appears to be 'all flowers' from a distance is actually in large part grasses, bare dirt, and what people conventionally call weeds. And quite messy-looking for much of the year. (The exception is a stand of Penngift crown vetch, but that is not suitable for a yard, believe me!). Is the close-up appearance acceptible to you -- remembering that you will be viewing your yard up close and not from fifty feet away at 60 mph ;)

Still want to do it? (I'd really really recommend starting with just a limited patch for a few years til you decide you definitely like it)"


This is very good advice for anyone longing for a meadow lawn full of flowers. But I have another method that I have not seen anywhere. It is basically halfway between a lawn and a meadow, and it involved first replacing my 8 inch lawnmower wheels with 10 inch wheels and then re-mounting the wheel mounts 2 inches lower so I can now mow from the original 2 inch height at any level up to an 8 inch height.

My lawn is a large boulevard area that is heavily travelled by school children, buggies, joggers, walkers, bikers, dog walkers, etc. so I need grass to stabilize the soil. Otherwise it would be a mudhole every spring. The first thing I learned was that very few flowering plants kept their leaves and protected the soil over the winter like grass. Clover and violets, for example, die back after the first heavy frost. But by mowing higher and higher, I was able to keep both the grass and a large number of flowering weeds that required more height to get established and to flower. I presently have over 25 flowering weeds that I am encouraging in this "lawn". Also, I have maintained a somewhat "manicured" look that doesn't scare the neighbours into thinking I'm filling the neighbourhood with weeds! I call it a pollinator flower lawn.

Razer
 

ducks4you

Garden Master
Joined
Sep 4, 2009
Messages
8,711
Reaction score
8,036
Points
397
Location
East Central IL, Was Zone 6, Now...maybe Zone 5
:yuckyuck

I remember when they began playing the BBC show on our L.A. PBS station, in the late 70's. I never missed an episode; I loved it! :)
Just for you, I guess, new for 2020.
 

flowerbug

Garden Master
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
12,534
Reaction score
15,623
Points
377
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
i haven't read this whole thread, but the part about "wildflowers in a can" certainly reminds me of the mistakes made here trying to use those blends. what we got were a few invasive weeds and nothing else that was even close to being worth having.

if it is an annual and a wildflower it will need disturbed ground from time to time and that's just asking for trouble around here. for perennials i like to try out a few plants in various situations to see how they do with neighbors and if they are really invasive or not.

in the city, some neighborhoods you can get letters from the city if you let your lawn grow longer to let the wildflowers show up. especially if you have a nasty ex who has a connection to the city government.

we have some wildflowers that wander around here. i try to keep an eye open for any new ones that try to come along to make sure they are ok before they get very far. i sure don't need any more projects... :)
 

Razer

Sprout
Joined
Oct 24, 2020
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
Points
8
That's an interesting point about annuals needing disturbed ground and disturbed ground being not a good idea. But perennials need disturbed ground as well. My solution is to plant new perennials whenever there is a gap such as a large dandelion being removed or a dog pee spot renovated. However with five clovers, 2 vetches, and bird'sfoot trefoil in my lawn, there are no longer any dog pee spots! Dandelions still find their way in but I'm trying to control them with autumn hawkbit. (fall dandelion)
Annuals need to go because it is hard enough finding plants that will keep their leaves under the snow, let alone using ones that by definition die off!

Razer
 

flowerbug

Garden Master
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
12,534
Reaction score
15,623
Points
377
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
That's an interesting point about annuals needing disturbed ground and disturbed ground being not a good idea. But perennials need disturbed ground as well. My solution is to plant new perennials whenever there is a gap such as a large dandelion being removed or a dog pee spot renovated. However with five clovers, 2 vetches, and bird'sfoot trefoil in my lawn, there are no longer any dog pee spots! Dandelions still find their way in but I'm trying to control them with autumn hawkbit. (fall dandelion)
Annuals need to go because it is hard enough finding plants that will keep their leaves under the snow, let alone using ones that by definition die off!

Razer

we've just replaced most of the lawn areas with gardens and that takes care of that problem. :) i'd be delighted to get rid of the little lawn that is left as it is the major source of weeds i have to get out of the neighboring gardens.
 
Top