Got too much lawn?
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If you need more green, consider low-numbered organic fertilizers. My favorite is cottonseed meal, which worked so well when I recommended it to a friend, he came back with the complaint, “You didn’t tell me I’d have to mow more.”Skip to next paragraph
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You know you got too much lawn when: Your 3 a.m. insomnia is about water — either bills or municipal restrictions.
Perhaps brown in a lawn is not a color you can live with. Consider the possibilities of substituting handsome hardscaping that will add a tremendous value in curb appeal. Keep water-wise plantings — maybe in raised beds — to frame your house.
You know you got too much lawn when: All your gardening time is spent grooming grass.
Even if you have never considered yourself “the gardener in the family,” as so many homeowners who mow have told me they’re not, there’s a whole world out there of amazing plants to grow. You can enjoy bringing your own home-grown food to the table, or the magical evening scents of flowering tobacco, lilies, and night-blooming jasmine opening on sweet late-summer evenings.
No expanse of little green stubbles can give you that.
So play on your lawn, party on your lawn, and throw Frisbees to your dog’s heart’s content. For anything else, a lawn proxy can be very rewarding.
Mary-Kate Mackey, co-author of Sunset’s Secret Gardens — 153 Design Tips from the Pros and contributor to the Sunset Western Garden Book, writes a monthly column for the Hartley Greenhouse webpage and numerous articles for Fine Gardening, Sunset, and other magazines. She teaches at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism & Communication. She will be writing about water in the garden for Diggin' It.
Editor’s note: To read more by Mary-Kate, check our blog archive. Gardening articles on a variety of topics can be found at the Monitor’s main gardening page. Also see our RSS feed. You may want to visit Gardening With the Monitor on Flickr. Take part in the discussions and get answers to your gardening questions. If you join the group (it’s free), you can upload your garden photos and enter our next contest. We’ll be looking for photographs of fruits. So find your best shots of summer’s blueberries, peaches, plums, etc., and get out your camera to take some stunning shots of early fall apples. Post them before Sept. 30, 2009, and you could be the next winner.