April 21, 2013

Maine Gardener: Your lawn a yawn? Try something different

By TOM ATWELL

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Hadden also promotes what she calls the "freedom lawn," which includes Dutch white clover and other broadleaf plants that are no longer put in grass-seed mixes because they won't stand up to chemical weed killers. "Freedom lawns are free of chemicals and free of costs," she said.

Hadden had one idea for beginning gardeners that I really liked. A lot of gardeners have trouble telling a desirable plant from a weed, especially at this time of year when all of the plants are small.

She recommends planting mini-monocultures in different parts of your yard -- maybe in fragments or around trees, if you are replacing your lawn in those areas. These areas have only one plant, but you could have several mini-monocultures around your yard using different plants in each one.

Once you start to weed, you know what the plant you want to keep looks like, and you just remove everything else. It makes it a lot simpler.

Hadden's "Beautiful No Mow Yards" is a large-format paperback published by Timber Press, and is priced at $24.95.

She said her next book is going to be about gardening that space between the sidewalk and the street, sometimes called esplanades or hell strips.

Tom Atwell has been writing the Maine Gardener column since 2004. He is a freelance writer gardening in Cape Elizabeth and can be contacted at 767-2297 or at:

tomatwell@me.com

 

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