Lawn Care Tips For Low Maintenance Lawns
Never Mow Your Yard Or Lawn Again
Low Maintenance Lawns — How Much Do You Spend On Your Lawn?
Today, just about everyone is looking for ways to reduce their expenses, yet almost four hundred years ago, Francis Bacon wrote in his An Essay of Gardens (1625) one answer to a substantial savings to most Americans, one that lays right in your front yard.
Nearly eighty percent of Americans have their own private yards. They spend a whopping forty billion dollars a year to just maintain those yards. The majority end up paying others to maintain their yards, which averages as much as thirty dollars a week in most parts of the country. Beyond the expense of maintaining our lawns, they bring to mind a bigger issue — that of wasting our precious water resources.
If you think about it, chances are that your lawn came with your house? Now some people are “lawn people” — they love their lawns and don’t mind mowing it one little bit. However, the truth is that most people are not lawn people by choice. Very often they don’t know how to properly care for their lawn. This only adds to the high cost of owning a lawn.
Why Not Plant An Herb Lawn?
Sir Francis Bacon had it right when he said:
“But those which Perfume the Aire most delightfully, not passed by as the rest, but being Troden upon and Crushed are Three: That is Burnet, Wilde Thyme, and Water Mints. Therefore, you are to set whole Allies of them, to have the Pleasure, when you walke to tread.” — Sir Francis Bacon
Maybe you wouldn’t want your entire lawn to be an herb lawn (or maybe you do), but consider the idea of a fragrant lawn carpet, laid with several different perennial herbs. Try beginning with a small herb lawn.
Herb lawns as alternative lawns have their good points and their not-so-good. Yes, you will have to weed them from time to time. Uggh! However, you will never have to mow your yard again. Yay!
One of the most popular things to do with an alternative herb lawn is to start your yard with a natural welcoming mat as you enter the herb garden, or even beneath a garden bench or seat. This “green hearth rug” will release a wonderful herbal aroma as you walk upon it to sit down or swing your legs gently across the surface.
Secrets to Planting Herb Lawns
As with any lawn it is necessary to prepare the ground, the basic steps are:
- Weed completely removing any trace of weeds
- Rake the soil to a smooth surface
- Add rich compost to hold moisture
- Plant at four to nine inch intervals for most lawn herbs
- If planted from seed, once seedlings appear, so not walk on them until they are well established.
Remember that all varieties of thyme are one of the best herb alternatives to a regular lawn. They have a wide variety of colors and leaf scents. They can make a dramatic lawn statement in that they flower in midsummer, and mixing several varieties can produce a lawn that is bursting with color and scents.
While herb lawns will tolerate some traffic, they aren’t an option if your lawn has heavy constant foot traffic unless you resort to paving stones, or other kinds of stepping stones.
Low Maintenance Lawns That Smell Like Paradise - The Thyme Lawn
My personal favorite herb lawn is one of thymes. To me, thyme is just inspiring. It reminds me of writers like Virgin and Kipling. Kipling, once wrote of “wind-bit thyme that smells of dawn in Paradise,” and that to me says all anyone needs to know about a thyme lawn.
Both the Greeks and the Romans used thyme for personal hygiene, either bathing in waters of thyme (the Romans) or in oil of thyme. The Romans even took it a step further, as they truly believed that the use of thyme water gave them vigor and courage.
Fast forward to the Middle Ages, and you find that women embroidered a sprig of theme on cloth for their suitors. The benefits of thyme have been believed to overcome shyness, give strength, promote courage, and to ward off nightmares. Using thyme was even believed to allow one to “see fairies.”
There was a time when the rich and the important secretly used it to ward off disease and to disguise unpleasant body odors. They kept sprigs of thyme either in their hands or on their clothing.
Thyme is actually a powerful antiseptic and preservative, known since the time of Egyptians, who used it as part of their embalming process.
Lawn Care Tips For Chamomile Lawns
If you have an area of lawn that gets little or just light foot traffic, you might want to consider Chamomile (Chamemelum nobile) as an alternative herb lawn.
This makes for an attractive, soft, and highly-scented alternative lawn.
Like many grass lawns, it provides a mat forming plant area. Chamomile gores to about 3-4 inches high, with fern-like foliage, and white flowers with yellow centers.
Lawn Care Tips For Minty Lawns
While many creeping herbs are a good alternative to grasses and offer a good functional and aesthetically pleasing lawn — several varieties of mints also make good ground cover.
This is especially true of Corsican Mint (Mentha requienii) and Pennyroyal (Mintha pulegium), because they also give the added bonus of the smell of mint when walked on.
Favorite Lawn Herbs
Finally, some of the most popular lawn herbs are:
Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) — This apple scented herb is non-flowering. It is especially tolerant of dry environments.
Corsican mints (Mentha requienii) — This herb has tiny leaves, but a strong sent. It likes moisture.
Pennyroyal mint (M. pulegium) — A bright green herb, with a peppermint scent. It likes moisture.
Thymes — (some of the best are: Thymus serpyllum, T. praecox, and T. pseudolanuginosus) — all of them are creeping thymes. They like dry and sandy soil.