In “Lawn, Really?“, we decided that we needed a place to share meals, relax, and enjoy the sun, and where it should be. Now we had to decide what to use for a ground cover!I set out to researching our options for creating an area with the functionality of a lawn. We were especially interested in eco-lawn products, and some flowering lawns can be truly beautiful, giving a meadow feel and blooming in a succession of colors. But the thing about flowers is that they attract bees. Creating habitat for bees is one of our site’s goals, but it isn’t quite right for this high traffic area. No one wants to step on a bee! On top of that, most of the blends we found contained yarrow and other plants which we wouldn’t want our chickens or rabbits to forage. While we weren’t planning on using the area as a regular run, we wanted to preserve the option.
We still didn’t want a lawn that was just grass, though. In our area we use cool-season grasses for turf, and in order to keep grass soft and green in the summer it needs quite a bit of regular water. Broadleaf weeds inevitably settle in, and you end up with green weedy patches on a lovely backdrop of scratchy brown. We thought about mosses, which make a beautiful ground cover in shady areas, but they can’t stand high traffic and wouldn’t work in the sunnier areas we planned to use.All signs pointed to MicroClover. This is a (non-GMO) hybrid clover which has a much finer texture than most clovers, is evergreen, and barely flowers. It also takes mowing and handles shade, which is important in this area since about half of it is regularly shaded. You can not purchase MicroClover unless it is in a blend any more, so an all MicroClover lawn was out of the question.
The area had been cover cropped with Perennial Rye in the past, so I selected a blend of Perennial Rye and MicroClover from Hobbs & Hopkins, Ltd., and also spread Chewings Fescue, which I got for free!
Up next, we install the lawn!