Thursday, June 24, 2010

Are Grass Lawns Overrated?

We've been experimenting with a new thing at our home this summer - a dead lawn! Just look at the wonderful progress we've made on killing off the grass.

But why... Is this the lazyman's approach to "lawn care"? The latest form of a "no-mow" lawn? No, we are in fact prepping the front yard for a sustainable revival of sorts.

While we are a bit lazy on yard maintenance, and I certainly do not like to mow (especially in August when hay fever allergies set in), the real reason for this unique approach is that we are killing the existing turfgrass lawn and rotting it out with compost on top of it, in preparation for a more natural (and drought tolerant) landscape.

We're going to replace this area with plants that have deep root systems that are native or adapted for the natural amount of rainfall Chicago receives. Once established, the landscape should require no extra water, and only occasional seasonal maintenance (as opposed to weekly mowing). Our biggest challenge will be finding plants that perform well given the abundance of shade.

Traditional lawn turfgrass has very shallow root systems (ever see sod?). When wet, the roots lock up preventing extra rainwater from infiltrating into the ground. This creates "ponding" or soggy lawns, and causes excessive stormwater runoff. On the other hand, native plants have deep roots that go down 6 feet or more to tap into the Earth's moisture. These plants grew all over the prairies of Illinois, and as the plants died or were burned off in natural fires, their root systems became deep-rooting fingers of compost. Over decades and eons, these composting roots evolved into some of the best soil and farmland in the United States.

In addition to returning some of this land to its natural sustainable use and using less water, our goal is to give a nice prairie-type of landscape setting for Humphrey House, which should fit well with the arts and crafts feel of the home. Now all we need is a good plan.

10 comments:

Chris said...

Yes.

Sandy said...

I love it when people turn their front yards into what they were meant to be! :-)

Joshua Robertson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joshua Robertson said...

That's great to see you're doing this. I wish that grass had never gotten to be the lawn covering of choice. I can't wait to see the final result and get some inspiration for my landscaping.

portlandgreenhome.blogspot.com

chenlili said...

curry 3
burberry outlet
louis vuitton purses
uggs for cheap
kate spade outlet
christian louboutin shoes
oakley canada
louis vuitton handbags
adidas uk
christian louboutin shoes
nike air max 90
coach outlet canada
ugg boots paris
the north face
coach outlet store online clearances
polp ralph lauren
lebron 11
kate spade outlet
coach factory outlet
designer handbags
beats solo 2
uggs pas cher
air jordans
michael kors outlet clearance
christian louboutin shoes
fitflop sandals
ralph lauren polo shirts
prada outlet
gucci outlet
oakley store
canada goose pas cher
canada goose jackets
coach outlet store online
oakley sunglasses outlet
oakley sunglasses
the north face outlet
fit flops
christian louboutin outlet
chenlili20160902

dong dong23 said...

nike air max pas cher
ugg outlet online clearance
kate spade handbags
louis vuitton factory outlet clearance
louis vuitton handbags
louis vuitton purses
ugg boots sale
ugg canada
fitflops
uggs sale
2016.10.20chenlixiang

chenmeinv0 said...

chicago bulls jerseys
polo ralph lauren
uggs on sale
celine handbags
true religion jeans
true religion jeans
ugg boots
ray ban glasses
mbt shoes clearance
cheap basketball shoes
2017.1.19xukaimin

John said...

ray bans
north face outlet
jordan shoes
ugg boots
nike outlet store
louboutin pas cher
levis outlet
canada goose outlet
polo ralph lauren outlet online
pandora jewelry outlet
2017213yuanyuan

Unknown said...

Quickbooks Support Phone Number
Quickbooks Support Phone Number
Quickbooks Tech Support Number
Quickbooks Support Number
Quickbooks Technical Support Number
Quickbooks Tech Support Phone Number
Quickbooks Technical Support Phone Number
Quickbooks Help Desk Phone Number
Quickbooks Help Desk Number
Quickbooks Customer Service Number
Quickbooks Customer Service Phone Number
Quickbooks Customer Support Number
Quickbooks Customer Support Phone Number
Quickbooks Pro Support Phone Number
Quickbooks Pro Tech Support Number
Quickbooks Pro Support Number
Quickbooks Pro Technical Support Number
Quickbooks Pro Tech Support Phone Number
Quickbooks Pro Technical Support Phone Number

Unknown said...

Quickbooks Support Phone Number
Quickbooks Error Support Phone Number
Quickbooks Error Tech Support Number
Quickbooks Error Support Number
Quickbooks Error Technical Support Number
Quickbooks Error Tech Support Phone Number
Quickbooks Error Technical Support Phone Number
Quickbooks Payroll Support Phone Number
Quickbooks Payroll Tech Support Number
Quickbooks Payroll Support Number
Quickbooks Payroll Technical Support Number
Quickbooks Payroll Tech Support Phone Number
Quickbooks Payroll Technical Support Phone Number
Quickbooks Enterprise Support Phone Number
Quickbooks Enterprise Tech Support Number
Quickbooks Enterprise Support Number
Quickbooks Enterprise Technical Support Number
Quickbooks Enterprise Tech Support Phone Number
Quickbooks Enterprise Technical Support Phone Number
Quickbooks Premier Support Phone Number
Quickbooks Premier Tech Support Number
Quickbooks Premier Support Number
Quickbooks Premier Technical Support Number
Quickbooks Premier Tech Support Phone Number
Quickbooks Premier Technical Support Phone Number