Grass isn't always greener—here's what to plant instead

Popular Science | 4/23/2019 | Staff
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Lawn replacements cut down on the amount of water and pesticides familiar grasses suck up. Mary Cadenasso, an urban ecosystem ecologist at the University of California, Davis suggests using cardboard to break up with your luscious (and thirsty) lawn. First, cut your grass as close to the root as your mower can get. Leaving the blades where they fall add nitrogen to the soil, so leave them be. Then, cover it with cardboard––make sure you remove any tape––and get it wet so the wind doesn’t upend your work. Make sure the edges of the cardboard overlap, sealing any potential escape routes. Next, cover the cardboard with 4 to 6 inches of mulch and wait out the summer. Just before the leaves start to fall, reseed with a sustainable perennial.

There’s always the option to rip up your sod if you want to reset your lawn this season, just pay attention to your sprinkler settings. “Often people hire someone to pull out their lawn and those professionals set irrigation systems for establishment,” says Cadenasso. “Homeowners don’t know they have to...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Popular Science
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