Join us in redefining the perfect lawn not as a weed-free sea of green, but as a beautiful and thriving place that’s welcoming to people and pollinators!
But what is a pollinator-perfect lawn? It's one that's filled with nectar-rich blooms and safe places for pollinators to rest. Of the 20 million acres of lawn in the US, unfortunately, much is manicured turf offering so little food and shelter that it might as well be pavement! If we all modified just 10% of our existing lawns we could add 2 million acres of pollinator habitat. That means more pollinators for our vegetable gardens and a lot less mowing for us!
Here's what you can do.
- Keep only the lawn areas you actually use.
Have an area for play and entertaining, and convert the rest to a flower garden to nourish bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Adult monarchs, in particular, rely on nectar for all their energy. Plants in the sunflower family, which includes asters, black-eyed Susans, calendula, coreopsis, purple coneflowers and zinnias, are particularly nectar-rich. Look for single varieties whose flowers consist of a ring or two of petals surrounding a central disk, rather than double varieties, whose blooms are filled with petals and lack a central disk. Singles tend to have more nectar.
- Create a mowable meadow.
Plant a versatile blend of plants and let them develop into a lawn full of texture and natural beauty. Crocuses will bring color early, while traditional lawns are still in winter dormancy. Dwarf California poppies add joyful color. English and yellow daisies, and creeping thyme, will add color season after season. Strawberry and white clover condition soil, suppress weeds, and provide essential nutrients for bumblebees and honeybees. You'll save money on lawn care, spend less time and energy mowing (you'll only need to do it once per season!), and help pollinators too!
- Improve your existing lawn.
Focus on soil health, aerate compacted areas, apply compost, and avoid toxic pesticides that can harm pollinators. By doing all this, you'll eliminate your lawn's dependency on chemical products, remove contaminants harmful to human, pet, and wildlife health, create a haven for pollinators, and have a lush, healthy lawn your neighbors will envy!
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