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USDA Plant Hardiness Zones

To help gardeners understand which plants will grow well for them, the entire USA has been segmented into ‘Plant Hardiness Zones’. Knowing your zone number is helpful when shopping for plants because:

  • Cold-area gardeners can avoid buying plants that simply won’t survive their lowest winter temperatures.
  • Warm-area gardeners can steer clear of plants that need a period of cold weather in order to bloom again.
Find your Plant Hardiness Zone here.

Less Water, Mowing & No Pesticides: Let's Do Lawns Differently

There’s no doubt about it: lawns are a major part of the US landscape and probably aren’t going anywhere soon. These lawns not only provide enjoyment for property owners and park-goers, but also support the seed production and landscape maintenance industries.

But just because lawns are so integral to our landscaping, doesn’t mean we can’t think about them in a little different way. Instead of choosing grasses that require constant watering, pesticides and upkeep, it makes more sense to instead choose varieties that are low maintenance and low water, no matter where you live. This will benefit you as a homeowner, while also helping to reduce your negative impact on the earth.

How Lawns Benefit Us:

  • Lawns help absorb and filter water as it moves from the sky to waterways. Without lawns, there could be much more flooding.
  • A lot of our outside life is centered around the lawn, including playing with our children on the soft grass, enjoying a picnic, playing soccer, and throwing the ball for our dogs.
  • Lawns can help cool urban and suburban areas down, helping to deter the effects of urban heat islands

How Lawns Negatively Affect Us:

  • Lawn care can be extremely wasteful; it uses a lot of energy to mow a lawn and makes lawn a carbon negative part of the landscape. This means that more carbon is generated by lawn maintenance than the actual grass absorbs.
  • Lawns can use large amounts of chemical fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides and insecticides which are very damaging to the environment.
  • Lawns can waste precious water resources, especially in areas where there is drought.

So What To Plant?

We’re not saying don’t enjoy your lawn, we’re just offering up a few varieties that can save you time and energy from less mowing, while also growing without pesticides and reducing the carbon imprint of your landscaping. These varieties are deep rooted and slow growing.

Low Work and Water Dwarf Fescue Grass Seed: This low-growing, low-maintenance grass seed mixture is perfect for any lawn. The soft, green grass is extremely durable and tolerates high traffic, making it great for play areas. Like its name states, this mixture requires less mowing and water than traditional grass seed.

No Mow Lawn Grass Seed: This specially formulated mixture provides soft, deep-green grass that requires little to no maintenance throughout the spring and summer months. These varieties are also drought-resistant and easy to grow.

Short Grass Seed Mixture: The Short Grass Seed Mixture will grow to be about 12-36 inches and is comprised of Blue Grama, Sideoats Grama, Sand Dropseed, and Prairie Junegrass. This grass is low-growing, meaning it requires less mowing and tolerates dry soil and drought conditions, needing less water.

Northeast Native Grass Seed Mixture: This mixture is made up of warm and cool-season grasses that are native to the Northeast and will be a hardy, long-lasting solution to any area.

Southeast Native Grass Mixture: This mixture is made up of warm and cool-season grasses that are native to the Southeast and will be a hardy, long-lasting solution to any area.

This year, choose one of these mixtures and reduce the water, mowing and pesticides you put into your lawn.

Happy Gardening!

4 thoughts on “Less Water, Mowing & No Pesticides: Let's Do Lawns Differently”

  • Larry Saxon

    I have a steep hill with no traffic to worry about. I need a grass gound cover to keep out weeds of all kinds, and pleasent to look at and does not require mowing.
    I live in zone 8 Puget Sound area.
    What do you recommend for a grass seed.
    Thank you
    Larry

    Reply
    • Jenny

      Hi Larry - I would recommend either Creeping Red Fescue or Blue Grama Grass seed. Both are low maintenance perennials and can help with erosion control (perfect for your steep hill). The Blue Grama is also drought-resistant (though Puget Sound doesn't make me think drought!). Here's a link to all of your Zone 8 grass and ground cover options. Best of luck - Jenny
      http://www.americanmeadows.com/grass-and-groundcover-seeds/zones/8

      Reply
  • Pat Davies

    I live on an acreage by Medicine Hat, Alberta. Zone 4. I want to plant a low height, drought resistant seed around our dugout and the sides of our dugout. About an acre. What do you suggest.

    Reply
    • Amanda

      Hi Pat,

      I'm assuming you're looking for a perennial wildflower as that's a lot of land to plant each year! Some drought resistant, low growing options are Candytuft, Soapwort, and Blue Eyed Grass. You can see a full list of our drought resistant wildflower seeds here:
      http://www.americanmeadows.com/wildflower-seeds/drought-tolerant-wildflower-seeds

      Happy Gardening!

      Reply
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