Lawns and Lawn Alternatives

Cont. from page 4.

live longer on homegrown food.  It takes a few years to develop healthy soils and learn new coping mechanisms for pests, but organic gardening has its rewards. House Wrens and bluebirds remove my cabbage worms.
2. Plant a prairie patch.
Mowing is time consuming and gasoline is costly. A mini-prairie or meadow garden can be an attractive part of your landscape, which will attract butterflies and singing insects. We call this a win/win, because there’s less work and more biodiversity.
3. Try a rain garden.
If you have water run-off issues or areas that hold water, use it to your advantage. OSU Extension has promoted rain gardens as a healthy alternative for allowing water to return to the ground where it belongs. Parking lots, driveways and roof run-off add to our overloaded storm-sewers and tax our over-burdened streams during storms. You may even end up attracting frogs and herons!
4. Organic lawns require less care.
OSU Extension’s organic lawn-care fact sheet offers these suggestions. A mulching lawn mower blade will help you put the natural nutrients back into your lawn; chemical free lawns require less water and are more drought tolerant. Clover* can also add an attractive and beneficial component to your lawn.
 *Since my lawn is chemical free, the local bunnies are thriving on the clover- and that’s OK.  I like feeding the Red-tailed Hawks in my neighborhood too.

Cheryl Harner
Richland County, Ohio

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