Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Chunk of Lawn Becomes a Native Garden

The showy tickseed coreopsis decorates the edge of
the front meadow. Native bees & butterflies love it!

The view from my office has been improved dramatically since I removed a 12 x 14-foot section of lawn and added native plants.

"Last September I began this set of garden adventures with the purchase of some Elliot’s love grass (Eragrostis elliottii) at a native plant sale. I knew I was going to reduce the tongue of lawn out into the front meadow and wanted to have the grasses to set the area off.

A well-managed edge hides or distracts from a weedy interior.

It was recommended that the grasses be placed three feet apart so they’d have room to grow. So I began, yet again, to remove a large chunk of lawn. I started by clearing the space for the grasses and then creating a nice gently curved line for the lawn’s edge so the lawnmower could easily make one single turn to get it all. I removed the St. Augustine grass over the next couple of weeks and then I covered the bare areas with a thin covering of pine needles. The holidays came and went before anything else happened."

Continue reading over on the Beautiful Native Plants blog to learn about the next two stages of this project: Adventures in creating a native garden.

The end result of the native garden for now. 

One advantage of timing planting projects at this time of year is that Mother Nature might pitch in on the supplemental irrigation. Sure enough, my back lucked out because the rains have come and I won't be hauling heavy watering cans out to the meadow!

The Official Wet Season Begins in June

rainfallTropical Storm Andrea on June 5, 2013

Unlike most of the east coast, which receives 3 or 4 inches of rain each month on average, Florida has a five-month wet season starting on June 1.  During the wet season, we average almost twice as much rain as during our seven-month dry season.

Right on time, a tropical system has been dumping oodles of rain on us. We've already received more than six inches of rain in June, which is above the average total for the whole month. Plus in May we had more than ten inches of rain and that's normally a dry month.

Be sure to turn off your irrigation system, when it's so wet!

Green Gardening Matters!
Ginny Stibolt

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