Seasons Garden Design
SEASONS GARDEN DESIGN LLC

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NO LAWN, BLUE MEADOW;
here's what we did:

First we removed the existing lawn. We dug it out by hand,
but you could use a sod cutter for a large area. The soil was
fairly good because we hadn't use chemicals on the soil
for fertilization or weed eradication. Chemicals kill microbiota
in the soil. They are nature's rototillers. Without them, the
soil becomes compacted and sterile. We added
approximately 4" of an 80% tested compost mixed with
20% quarter-ten gravel. If you can't get quarter-ten gravel,
use small pea gravel. Mix it in with the soil - not with a
rototiller which will compact everything just below the
tines of the rorotiller. It's better to do it by hand!

We shaped the large circle so that we had a mound in the
center gradually sloping to the outside of the circle. Then
we lightly raked another product called 'Turface' into the
top 1/2" of the soil all over the circle. It is used on athletic
fields to support the weight of a person walking on the grass,
instead of them sinking into the soil and ruining the
grass. It is made of tiny terra-cotta particles. These
articles will suck up moisture and then when the soil is dry,
they will release the moisture.

Because these actions disturb soil and bring weed seeds
to the surface, we applied corn gluten to the top, watered
it in, and let the soil rest for the summer. This allowed any
weed seeds to continue germinating if they had already started,
but the corn gluten prevented dormant seeds from germinating.

LAWN REMOVAL

let-the-soil-rest installing-carex-plugs

That fall, we planted plugs of Carex flacca, a
blue-green-leaved sedge that is shade-tolerant
and does not require much water. In early
December, we planted 400 Allium caeruleum
and 400 Camassia leichtlini, both blue-flowering bulbs.
We had very cold knees!

The following spring, the Carex hadn't quite grown
in yet over the winter. There were still sizeable
gaps between the plants, but we were rewarded
for the cold knees in December by
masses of blue flowers. (below left)

ALLIUMS

By that fall, the Carex had mostly grown together with little
to no soil visible, probably attributable to the great soil
and the corn gluten, which also provides nitrogen to the soil.
Over the next winter, the meadow looked exactly the same
as it did in October (see below).

Since planting our meadow, we have not needed to mow it...at all.
True. We no longer need a mower. We will probably need to
edge it on occasion and sprinkle some compost on it
occasionally and perhaps cut the flowers off the Carex.

Otherwise this is the low-grow, no-mow lawn. Perfect and a
perfectly beautiful alternative to water guzzling and weed n' feed
inhaling turf. If you want other alternatives to Carex flacca,
read below for some Pacific NW native grasses
and a couple of groundcovers.

BLUE MEADOW
The grass circle behind the blue meadow is
Carex siderostoicha 'Variegata'. It is herbaceous and
needs to be cut back at the end of winter.

Beyond that is our crop circle, ringed with boxwood.
This is a long view across the middle of our garden,
with the patio area to the left and the 'outback' to the right
.

 

Pacific Northwest
native grasses

Some of these get tall and will need mowing to use as turf, but they won't need fertilizing and extra summer water after the first 2 years.

Calamagrostis nutkaensis
Calamagrostis
nutkaensis

Achnatherum coronatum
Achnatherum
coronatum
Festuca californica
Festuca
californica
Sporobolus airoides
Sporobous
airoides
Carex tumulicola
Carex
tumulicola
Carex pansa
Carex
pansa
Eriophorum angustifolium
Eriophorum
angustifolium
Hierochloe occidentalis
Hierochloe
occidentalis
Leymus cinereus
Leymus
cinereus

Groundcovers
lawn substitutes. (PNW=Pacific NW native)

Mahonia nervosa
Mahonia nervosa
(PNW evergreen for shade)
Achlys triphylla
Achlys triphylla
(PNW herbaceous for shade)
Fragaria chiloensis
Fragaria chiloensis
(PNW evergreen for part
shade/part sun)

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
(PNW for full sun)

Leptinella squallida
Leptinella squallida
(evergreen for part shade/full sun)
Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nana'
Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nana'
(evergreen for part shade/full sun)


TIRED OF MOWING YET?

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360.546.2746
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SEASONS GARDEN DESIGN LLC © 2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
REVISED: 14MAR2019