Improving a lawn for insects

mort

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15 Nov 2015
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Thanks for the inspiration. I really like the look of the first marjoram and will definitely get some. We both (my brother and i) have sun trap areas where herbs should do well. His is an area next to the house that's full of stones left by the builders 80 years ago, so I need to dig it up and improve the soils drainage and makeup a little but it's a nice sized strip that I'm free to play with. I also have the same spot but concreted over, so it's pallet planter gardens there. I have been growing lavender cuttings for a few months now, some nice large fennel and rosemary, so the marjoram and some thyme should fit in well.
 

mort

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15 Nov 2015
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I saw the discussion on lawns in the other thread and thought I'd update here. I seeded yellow rattle, birds foot trefoil, selfheal, cats ear, some red clover and another I've forgotten. I had scarified the lawn, finely seeded in sand and then trampled it in and waited until spring and nothing, nada, zilch, bupkis:mad: I was probably expecting to much but hopefully the seed is still there for if things improve.
I think the grass is just to strong even though it looks bad. My next plan is to grow some plugs and add them to see if they can cope. Going to try rattle again for obvious reasons but add some thuggish daisies into the mix, plus there is a really nice small geranium all around our area in the grasses that has a nice purple flower. Then if it proves more successful I will try to slowly increase diversity over the years.

On the plus side the cats ear has done much better this year, the white clover has taken over more area and the achillea is quite strong, so hopefully conditions are improving.
 

tiger15

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14 Mar 2018
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In US, most townships prohibit unmowed lawn, so having an unmowed meadow is off limit. Most homeowners here consider all non turf plants weed and try to get rid of all, but most fail. Weed are like algae, opportunistic, and are made up of thousands varieties that will always find conditions to thrive.

Since the war to eliminate weed can never be won, why not accommodate weed in good way. Since I started my planted tanks, I look at lawn weed differently and see them more like aquatic plants with resemblance in foliage, texture and color. If arranged in neat patterns, they can be beautiful. Tom Barr used to call his dutch garden set up a weed farm.

I started to identify weed in my lawn, research their characteristic and life cycle, and distinguish good weed to keep, and bad weed to eliminate. Clovers are beneficial weed because they are legumes that add nitrogen to soil. Vinca minor invasion in the lawn is a beautiful weed that bloom with blue flowers in spring and the deep green foliage blend in with turf grass. Purple Dead Nettle is a good ground cover in the flower beds as they are uniform low growing and bloom with purple flowers in spring. Common Vetch in the flower bed is fern like and a legume that adds nitrogen to the soil. There are many bad weed that must be eliminated including all tree seedlings that grow tall and form deep tap roots, horse nettle and weed in the Solanum family that are thorny, grow tall and give me dermatitis.
 

mort

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15 Nov 2015
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I'm just trying to embrace a little of our natural flora. My pond area is nearly 100% native and I've tried to mix wild flowers in our borders with some of the more man manipulated species. I know it's of negligible value to wildlife in the grand scheme of things but it seems silly to dedicate the area to plants that might not thrive in our surroundings.
This year I've grown a couple of dozen mulleins and these attracted the mullein moth caterpillars that I'd never seen.


Annoyingly all the local verges and grass areas around me had been left to grow all year and just as the flowers were about to bloom, they hacked it all down and left it all over the paths.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Tom Barr used to call his dutch garden set up a weed farm.
Tom (@plantbrain) wrote a bit on the forum about his academic job. This is on <"Aquatic plant management"> and this one talks about <"fishing lake management">.
In US, most townships prohibit unmowed lawn, so having an unmowed meadow is off limit
I read this in one of <"Dave Goulson's books">, I must admit while nothing about the USA amazes me, it amazes me that you can legally own a machine gun, but they can fine you (and forcibly mow your lawn?) if you haven't mown your lawn.

I never understood why they needed to move beehives around to pollinate the Almonds etc. until someone told me that the Almond growing areas is <"effectively sterilized"> and doesn't have any other plants or pollinating insects left.

cheers Darrel
 
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tiger15

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Tom Barr has a phD in ecology, limnology or something relating to environmental science. He is an abrasive talker and gets a bigger name out of aquarscaping than his academic discipline.

Yes, it doesn't make sense keeping guns is legal but not mowing the lawn is illegal in US. Piers Morgan was CNN night talk show host after long time Larry King retirement for a couple years. I was fascinated by his frequent questioning of American's fascination with guns and perhaps his strong opinion kept him from having his contract renewed.
 
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