Have you been thinking about reducing the size of your lawn? Or switching it from grass to something more environmentally friendly? Join Extension Master Gardeners Alyssa Ford Morel and Carolyn Vincent to see examples of similar efforts by several Extension Master Gardeners. They share how the process went in their own Northern Virginia yards and what lessons were learned.
Zoom session, recorded April 14, 2023
Video of Presentation
- Landschoot, Peter, Tim Abbey and Tanner Delvalle.Lawn and Turfgrass Weeds: Rough stalk Bluegrass, Poa Trivialis, L. University of Pennsylvania Extension.
- Pollan, M. 1991. Second Nature: A Gardeners’s Education. Chapter 3: Why Mow? Pp. 54-65. New York: Grove Press
- Rainer, T. & West, C. 2015. Planting in a Post-wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes. Portland, OR: Timber Press
- Wycoff, Stephanie Blevins and Daniel Frank; Dana Beegle (ed). 2020. An Introduction to Integrated Pest Management. VCE Publications: ENTO 365. Virginia Cooperative Extension.
Alyssa Ford Morel
- Audubon at Home
Program inviting homeowners, schools, houses of worship to create wildlife sanctuaries.
- Carex for the Mid-Atlantic Region. 2023. Mt. Cuba Center Carex Trials.
Includes ratings of Carex that handle mowing well.
- Climate Conscious Gardening: Lawns. 2022. Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia.
- Homegrown National Park
Effort to create more habitat in America’s yards spearheaded by Douglas Tallamy.
- Landscaping help. Plant NOVA Natives.
Listing of local native landscaping specialists
- Lawn Care Basics. 2022. Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia.
- Turf Grass Alternatives. 2022. Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia.
Alyssa answers questions from the chat:
I did not have a good answer for questions about removing Bermuda grass and about whether Zoysia grass is a good choice in Northern Virginia, but promised to do a bit of research and post the answers.
- Both Bermuda grass and Zoysia grass are warm-weather grasses that do well in Northern Virginia.
- Bermuda grass can be either loved or hated for its hardy nature, depending on whether you like it’s look as a lawn or if you consider it a weed to be removed. Killing it is challenging, often a matter of depriving it of light for long enough to kill it, often by means of covering it with black plastic, or using chemicals.
- Here’s a link from Virginia Tech dealing with choosing a grass: What grass should I grow for my lawn? (vt.edu).
- Here’s a link from North Carolina State University about keeping Bermuda grass out of a Fescue lawn: How to Keep Bermuda Grass Out of Your Fescue | Extension Marketing and Communications (ncsu.edu).
- Here’s a link from University of California on killing Bermuda Grass: Bermudagrass Management Guidelines–UC IPM (ucanr.edu)
Plant list – Henry & Claudia’s Garden
- Liatris (Blazing Star, Gayfeather)
- Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ (Sneezeweed)
- Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)
- Coreopsis verticillata (Threadleaf Coreopsis, Whorled Tickseed)
- Heuchera ‘Caramel’ (Coral bells)
- Echinacea (Coneflower)
- Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly-weed – NOT Butterfly Bush)
- Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot)
- Hylotelephium Herbstfreude ‘Autumn Joy’ (Stonecrop) Formerly classified as sedum
Plant list – Scarlett’s Garden
- Cotoneaster salicifolius ‘Scarlet Leader’ (Willowleaf Cotoneaster)
- Jasminium nudiflorum (Winter Jasmine)
- Phlox subulata (Moss Phlox)
- Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint)
- Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’ (Blue Fescue)
- Euphorbia cyparissius ‘Fen’s Ruby’ (Cypress Spurge)
- Juniper horizontalis ‘Blue Rug’ wiltonii (Creeping Juniper, Blue rug juniper)
- Silene (Wild Pinks)
- Antennaria neglecta (Pussytoes)
- Sisyrinchium angustifolium (Blue-eyed grass)
- Salvia lyrata (Lyre-leaf Sage, Cancerweed)
- Mazus reptans (Mazus) did not do so well.
Pathway plant list – Alyssa’s Garden
- Trifolium repens (Microclover)
- Danthonia spicata (Poverty Oat Grass)
- A wildflower mix meant for lawns
- Viola sororia (Common blue violet)
- Various creeping thymes
- Muscari armeniacum (Grape Hyacinth)
- Crocus tommasinianus (Woodland Crocus)
- Claytonia virginica (Spring Beauty)