Growing a Lawn Meadow
How & Why it Works
February 9, 2023
Many gardeners looking for a more natural lawn solution have turned patches of grass into natural meadows. These lawn meadows or wildflower gardens are not only easy to maintain but are also better for the environment. Learn more about growing your own lawn meadow and what you can start doing now to plan.
Benefits of Growing a Lawn Meadow
Whether you’re tired of mowing or just want an environmentally friendly garden solution, growing a meadow is one option. Lawn meadows are a collection of native flowers and grasses that look like a wild meadow and provide the following benefits:
- Wildlife habitat
- Less mowing
- Less structured
- Easy to maintain
The size of your meadow can vary depending on how much lawn you have. Some gardeners start with a small corner or patch of grass in their yard. Some let these meadows grow across their lawn and design natural pathways through them. The only rules are determined by your local authorities or homeowners associations. Although, there are a few things to keep in mind to help your meadow grow efficiently.
Planning Your Meadow
Creating an optimal lawn meadow takes a little more planning than simply spreading some wildflower seeds. Here are some questions to ask yourself first:
- How big should it be? Do you want to start with a small corner of your garden? A hard-to-mow slope? Or go all-in throughout your backyard?
- Does this area get enough light? Ideally, this area should receive about six hours of direct sunlight. This could fluctuate depending on the plants you decide to grow. Keep in mind, a natural meadow is typically an open field that receives full sun for most of the day.
- What plants will grow? Research what plants are native to your area. These will be the easiest to grow. Take a walk through a nearby park or meadow and notice what plants are thriving there. Note which plants attract pollinators and other beneficial bugs. List how many grass and flower plants you’ll need to fill the space provided.
Growing Your Lawn Meadow
Once you’ve picked the perfect spot, you want to prepare it for planting.
- Clear the area by covering it with a tarp or plastic to kill existing weeds and their seeds.
- Layer newspaper and cardboard and cover it with several inches of mulch.
- Break up the soil before planting and mix in some compost.
- Space the plants according to their mature size. When the plants cover the area it’s less likely new weeds will emerge.
- Plant once the danger of frost has passed. Include perennial grass and flowers that you want to become established in the garden and fill in with colorful annuals.
- Choose plants that bloom at different times of the year for color throughout the seasons.
- Water regularly until plants are established. The soil should stay moist until any seeds germinate.
- You can leave the plants as is over the winter to provide food and shelter for wildlife. Cut back the plants to the ground in late winter to prepare for regrowth.
- Mow or maintain any pathways throughout the year when needed. Use stone or pavers in pathways to reduce mowing even more.
- Enjoy the space with finishing touches like fountains or benches.
For more information on creating a dreamy lawn meadow, visit your local nursery or contact Cardinal Lawns to discover other options for maintaining your yard and garden.
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