5 Proven Strategies to Convert Your Front Lawn to a Meadow

5 Proven Strategies to Convert Your Front Lawn to a Meadow

Mono-culture in current agricultural practice may increase short-term food supply; however, it may damage fertile topsoil and beneficial insects by the excess use of chemical fertilizer and herbicide. While pointing fingers at mono-culture, many may not realize they are doing the same thing to their very own front lawn. The turf-type grass lawn is similar to a mono-culture planting, with an average of 3-5 types of grass species.  Some people even diligently dig out the dandelions as weeds, destroying the last pollen sources for honey bees.  

In the face of changing climate, more and more people realize the importance of biodiversity and begin to convert their lawns to meadows or gardens. Hundredfold is one of them. Over the course of four years, we turned our front lawn into a native meadow.  It was not an easy undertaking. Unsurprisingly, the most difficult part is not the toil and till, it is the resistance from all your neighbors. We figured out a few practical ways to effectively turn our lawn into a meadow, with peace with all our neighbors.

1. Start with a small step each season. Allow your neighbors to accept the change over time.

We started with planting sunflowers on our front lawn and received only praises. Some neighbors may not like the idea but the sunflowers are too pretty to criticize.

2. Add native perennial flowers gradually after sunflowers or annual flowers.

Everyone likes flowers and perennials can come back each year. Here are some examples of native perennials: swamp rose, wild bergamot, and red columbine.

3. Add native shrubs slowly.

Elderberry, serviceberry, and blueberry are all low-maintenance native shrubs. They will add nice flowers and beautiful fall colors to your lawn.

4. Avoid household vegetables such as tomatoes, lettuce, or peppers.

Displaying vegetables on your front lawn is like writing gossip in capital letters. 

5. Some herbs are safe for the front lawn.

Many perennial herbs do well on the front lawn, such as German thyme, lemon balm, and catnips. Many passing-by don’t recognize them anyway.

Over time, all your neighbors will come to the point that a meadow is much richer and prettier than an old boring lawn.  More flowers, more bee visits, and more bird activities are the apparent outcome of this move, let alone the beautiful berries shining under the sun.  

Native Wild Flowers

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