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Old 11-16-2014, 05:18 PM   #11
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For lawn lovers they don't care about native or non native. They just want that perfect uniform look. Are you still going to have a mowed lawn dap or will you have native grass that doesn't tall that you don't have to cut? I wonder what kind of grass seed I could plant in my pasture that is native. I have looked up the grasses in pasture mix and they are non native. What is your source for finding out about native grasses? I haven't had any luck when trying to do searches for native pasture grass.
Originally, I assumed that I'd have a mowed area--the front lawn, a little around the house, and the paths in my meadow...but, over time, and with the knowledge that the creeping European grasses will infiltrate my native plantings (and other European grasses may still seed in), I've been trying to figure out how to had some shorter grasses and "step-able" low-growing native forbs in the paths--and "lawn" areas. I imagine that I'd have to mow once or twice a year, but I am not even sure if the hazy vision I have will even work.

As for researching natives that would be appropriate grazing material for horses, I am not sure. I would think there is some research out there somewhere. Hopefully, if you don't find it, someone else will and will post it here.

Although bison are very different from horses, I have to wonder what native grasses can handle being grazed to such a degree and bounce back--those that co-evolved with bison seem like a likely place to start.
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Old 11-16-2014, 05:25 PM   #12
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I knew someone would come to the rescue.

Thank you, Katie and rockerBOO.

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...I plan to turn my pastures into meadows if I eventually end up without horses so if I plant grass seed in the pasture I would like for it to be native although either way with or without horses I would rather plant native grass.
I *love* that idea! Native meadows will be beautiful on your property. I hope you find a great solution to work with the horses as well as planning for a possible future without them.
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:09 PM   #13
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That is one reason I like the idea of smothering...perhaps I'm wrong, but it feels like there is less disturbance to the soil itself--not only the beneficial microorganisms and their various zones, but also exposing the seedbank.
I think you're exactly right, Dap. Not to mention how amazing the soil looks after smothering with layers and layers of organic material.
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:16 PM   #14
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Not to mention how amazing the soil looks after smothering with layers and layers of organic material.
~smile~ Yes, that is a real plus!

I do have one section that I want to grow a habitat that tends to be in more sterile surroundings...I have to figure out how to smother that without enriching the soil much.
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:50 PM   #15
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I do have one section that I want to grow a habitat that tends to be in more sterile surroundings...I have to figure out how to smother that without enriching the soil much.
Would smothering it with plastic work dap since you don't want to add organic matter?
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Old 11-16-2014, 08:15 PM   #16
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I definitely agree that using chemicals on lawns is unnecessary. My problem is not just weeds (read non-natives)...but the grasses themselves are often non-native European grasses. My goal is to smother large sections of the grasses and weeds that make up our lawn and replace them with native grasses and forbs. My hope is that I can do a section at a time and keep the non native grasses from creeping in and infiltrating the native sections.

I realize now that I can't leave the turf grasses in the paths or they will make their way back into my native sections.
I also agree that chemicals are not necessary to maintain lawns. I'm sure the previous owner of our house (we've been here 25 years) had a "chemlawn" because it was a monoculture of green grass when we moved in. It has not been sprayed with anything since. The ground is much "softer" now from mulched grass and leaves breaking down. The lawn is still green all summer although it is now a mix of grass and other plants - clover, dandelion, violet. They all look lovely when they are mowed and my yard stays greener than the chemlawned neighbors when we have a summer drought. I wish I could convince my neighbors to STOP with the chemicals. A monoculture of non-native turf grasses is a dead zone. Nothing eats it, nothing can live in it with all the pesticides and it uses more resources to maintain. I mow maybe once in July and once in Aug. while my neighbors are mowing once/twice a week because they are using chemicals and watering constantly.

Since I don't water, the plants put down deeper roots which allows them to stay greener even during July and Aug. when rainfall is minimal. I also never have an issue with dead areas from grubs. Grubs prefer tender, young, shallow grass roots. They don't bother with my deeper rooted, mixed lawn. Some of my neighbors were watering well into late-October when grass is supposed to be going dormant. Drives me NUTS!!!
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Old 11-16-2014, 09:11 PM   #17
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A monoculture of non-native turf grasses is a dead zone. Nothing eats it, nothing can live in it with all the pesticides and it uses more resources to maintain...
you are preaching to 5he choir. ~smile~

It is sickening to think of the useless acres and acres of lawn that makes up a huge dead zone ...at least people are be oming more aware of the need for wildlife corridors.

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Since I don't water, the plants put down deeper roots which allows them to stay greener even during July and Aug. when rainfall is minimal. I also never have an issue with dead areas from grubs. Grubs prefer tender, young, shallow grass roots. They don't bother with my deeper rooted, mixed lawn.
Very good point.
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Old 11-16-2014, 09:13 PM   #18
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Would smothering it with plastic work dap since you don't want to add organic matter?
Perhaps that would be the way to go.
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:12 AM   #19
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I wish I could convince my neighbors to STOP with the chemicals.
I wish my neighbors would too and I wish my neighbor would stop telling me what I should do with my property. It is getting old. He thinks my property should look his chemproperty.

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Since I don't water, the plants put down deeper roots which allows them to stay greener even during July and Aug. when rainfall is minimal. I also never have an issue with dead areas from grubs. Grubs prefer tender, young, shallow grass roots. They don't bother with my deeper rooted, mixed lawn. Some of my neighbors were watering well into late-October when grass is supposed to be going dormant. Drives me NUTS!!!
I think my neighbors think my property with all of it's plants attract Japanese beetles when I think the Japanese beetle grubs probably come from their vast lawns.
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:47 PM   #20
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That is one reason I like the idea of smothering...perhaps I'm wrong, but it feels like there is less disturbance to the soil itself--not only the beneficial microorganisms and their various zones, but also exposing the seedbank (likely more invasive plants where I live as it has been developed/farmed for decades if not centuries.
When I first started to plant natives about five years ago, I started with a couple of seed mixes from Prairie Moon because it was so much cheaper than plants. I turned over all the sod and such in the areas I wanted to plant....NOT a good idea. I agree with you, Dap, the soil disturbance just released a whole host of weed seeds that had been there for many years (our house was built 70+ years ago). I switched to smothering to avoid giving those weed seeds the opportunity to germinate. Plants may cost a bit more in the beginning, but in my relatively small space, they are much easier to get established than seeds. I think that once I get plants established and the weeds smothered, I should be able to supplement with seeds in those areas. I wouldn't be able to afford to start with plants if I had acres to do, though!
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