6

votes

Paleo Lawn care

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 26, 2011 at 4:09 PM

I now have a lawn for the first time. Anyone do any natural/Paleo lawn care? Last thing I want to do is dump a bunch of artificial fertilizer and weed killer in my own backyard.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on October 21, 2011
at 05:46 AM

@Caaveman: Excellent point :)

6371f0ae0c075ded1b8cd30aafd4bf16

on October 21, 2011
at 01:40 AM

Goats and Cows will eat your grass to the root, but if you get a bison it will not eat the root. If you want a nice manicured lawn without having to replant it every year then go with the good old American Bison.

8e1876a74536739ecf7bef97d5d97b76

(747)

on September 06, 2011
at 03:10 PM

Just caught your message Karen! I want to possibly work for Coop Ext. one day and was on the short list for a job with them before they realized I didn't have a Masters. (Working on that now! M.S. Ag class 2013)

8e1876a74536739ecf7bef97d5d97b76

(747)

on September 06, 2011
at 03:06 PM

The only issue regarding "letting your lawn run" is invasive vegetative species... I'd worry about that especially since it's becoming an even bigger problem these days

8e1876a74536739ecf7bef97d5d97b76

(747)

on September 06, 2011
at 03:03 PM

a) saving the article for future endeavors... thanks b) our rule of thumb in my line of work is 1-2 horses, 2-4 cows, 3-6 goats/sheep per acre dependent on breed and pasture maintenance.

8e1876a74536739ecf7bef97d5d97b76

(747)

on August 29, 2011
at 02:27 PM

Regarding why you have some plants work better than others. It really matters what happens when they fail. Typically it can be anything from disease, pests, soil nutrients and soil salts. Coop Ext. can help with that as well

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 28, 2011
at 01:34 AM

Clover is a great plant to have in your lawn. Until the 1960s it was routinely mixed into many grass seed mixes because the clover roots fixed nitrogen and helped fertilize the grass. Lawn care companies *cough*Scott's*cough* got more profit by convincing people to see clover as a weed - both in herbicide and fertilizer sales.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 28, 2011
at 01:30 AM

+1 for leaving lawn clippings. They don't contribute to thatch and they can provide @ 1/4 or more of a lawns fertility needs.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 28, 2011
at 01:27 AM

+1 for great advice and for Coop Extension rec. Can you guess what I used to do for a living? ;-) Maybe paleo horticulturists can save the world!

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 27, 2011
at 08:22 PM

First, lol on your original answer. Second, on your edit: In my darker, twistier moments I find myself thinking we're in some kind of Matrix-like "reality," only we're being controlled and manipulated by *grass* instead of aliens. I mean, really: First we plant the shit everywhere for food, and then, as if that's not enough, for *looks*? Aaauugh! (Okay, back to normal now. It's just grass. It's not conscious. Everything's okay. I'm chill.)

Bdede2dbc411f2533a7e6f13674ade51

(804)

on August 27, 2011
at 06:34 AM

Kind of like this... http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2079/3539263086_6639c45927_z.jpg I have other pictures of actual front yards in this fashion, but don't have time to find them right now

Bdede2dbc411f2533a7e6f13674ade51

(804)

on August 27, 2011
at 06:22 AM

True - didn't mean to sound snarky if it came across that way. It's a good question and people on PH are obviously interested in the subject! I just guess I never thought of it in a 'Paleo' way. Being from Oregon, it's just always been 'organic' to me :)

Bdede2dbc411f2533a7e6f13674ade51

(804)

on August 27, 2011
at 06:19 AM

One cool thing some people here in Germany do is to let their lawn grow wild. By this I mean, they let wildflowers, moss, and even some weeds, grow along with the grass. It's actually pretty cool looking! I've even seen where they let it get quite long in the summer, carving paths through it and having a bench here and there. I have pictures somewhere.... On a different note, we've had incredible luck with some plants in our garden (spaghetti squash, zucchini, heirloom tomatoes, blueberries), but a lot of trouble with others, namely broccoli and cauliflower. Need to figure out why....

218f4d92627e4289cc81178fce5b4d00

on August 27, 2011
at 02:20 AM

Goats are better, they will eat a lot more of the weeds!

967229edcc94a66580110324524feb49

(688)

on August 26, 2011
at 11:01 PM

Then you can eat it...

5f13fee3040eece27b7bbc9b8bad7c38

(50)

on August 26, 2011
at 07:42 PM

Lawns mayeb aren't paleo, but moving towards natural landscaping counts in my view.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on August 26, 2011
at 07:41 PM

/o/\o\ LOVE IT, MATTHEW.

8e1876a74536739ecf7bef97d5d97b76

(747)

on August 26, 2011
at 05:36 PM

In really bad insect infestation situations you can spray spinosad products on plants. Organic producers use it all the time. Spinosad is hte active ingredient made from a soil bacteria found in Puerto Rico. It's LD50- is about 250-500 and the renetry time is about 2-4 hours. (i.e. spray and keep the kids indoors for a couple hours.)

8e1876a74536739ecf7bef97d5d97b76

(747)

on August 26, 2011
at 05:33 PM

ROFL yep... formula 1! Thatch is great but I warn that you do have to be more diligent with your lawn care otherwise you leave too much and lose lawn areation.... oh yeah that reminds... me areation is key. See all the fetilization process relies on micro organisms that eat the stuff down and makes it available. Those organisms are all reliant on oxygen which means areation can go a long way to happy grass (or nay plany .. .apply that to your paleo gardens

Bdede2dbc411f2533a7e6f13674ade51

(804)

on August 26, 2011
at 05:02 PM

race car driver? ;) I'm a big fan of leaving the clippings on the lawn. My wife just thinks I'm lazy, but it does work!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on August 26, 2011
at 04:52 PM

Well, Rose we moved my inlaws into our house and one of the agreements was that they take care of the lawn maintenance (and my daughter), but that's a pretty extreme move. :p Plus - I have to live with my in-laws!

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 26, 2011
at 04:22 PM

I don't have a real answer, as I have a lawn, take care of it, and thoroughly hate it, lol. To me, lawns are the ultimate in neolithic uselessness, and I am stealthily working to eradicate ours and replace it with a patchwork of (faux) dry creek bed, tall grasses, and mixed hedges. But it's a tough slog: Just as with Paleo eating, spouses, neighbors, and conventional wisdom are in an evil alliance against me. ;D Hope you get some good answers.

  • 5f13fee3040eece27b7bbc9b8bad7c38

    asked by

    (50)
  • Views
    2K
  • Last Activity
    1551D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

9 Answers

10
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on August 26, 2011
at 06:26 PM

Buy a cow. Paleo style lawn care.

paleo-lawn-carelink

They will mow the grass and apply fertilizer for you.


Edit: I just happened, out of curiosity (I sometimes think that I must have a strange mind), to look up what is the land area devoted to lawns in the USA.

It turns out someone called Cristina Milesi recently spend her PhD researching this very question. Looking for Lawns.

???Even conservatively,??? Milesi says, ???I estimate there are three times more acres of lawns in the U.S. than irrigated corn.??? This means lawns???including residential and commercial lawns, golf courses, etc???could be considered the single largest irrigated crop in America in terms of surface area, covering about 128,000 square kilometers (50,000 square miles) in all.

I wonder how many animals could be raised on 50,000 square miles of grass.

218f4d92627e4289cc81178fce5b4d00

on August 27, 2011
at 02:20 AM

Goats are better, they will eat a lot more of the weeds!

967229edcc94a66580110324524feb49

(688)

on August 26, 2011
at 11:01 PM

Then you can eat it...

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on August 26, 2011
at 07:41 PM

/o/\o\ LOVE IT, MATTHEW.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 27, 2011
at 08:22 PM

First, lol on your original answer. Second, on your edit: In my darker, twistier moments I find myself thinking we're in some kind of Matrix-like "reality," only we're being controlled and manipulated by *grass* instead of aliens. I mean, really: First we plant the shit everywhere for food, and then, as if that's not enough, for *looks*? Aaauugh! (Okay, back to normal now. It's just grass. It's not conscious. Everything's okay. I'm chill.)

8e1876a74536739ecf7bef97d5d97b76

(747)

on September 06, 2011
at 03:03 PM

a) saving the article for future endeavors... thanks b) our rule of thumb in my line of work is 1-2 horses, 2-4 cows, 3-6 goats/sheep per acre dependent on breed and pasture maintenance.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on October 21, 2011
at 05:46 AM

@Caaveman: Excellent point :)

6371f0ae0c075ded1b8cd30aafd4bf16

on October 21, 2011
at 01:40 AM

Goats and Cows will eat your grass to the root, but if you get a bison it will not eat the root. If you want a nice manicured lawn without having to replant it every year then go with the good old American Bison.

8
8e1876a74536739ecf7bef97d5d97b76

(747)

on August 26, 2011
at 04:47 PM

Oh, am I ever able to talk about this.

First, do xeriscaping. Talk to your local Cooperative Extension (there is one in every county of the United States...not sure if you are a Canada or UK or aussie) about the best plants for minimum watering and fertilizing. Native or adapted plants for your rainfall area ensures no extra ferts and minimal watering is needed (excess water adds to your fert needs and can increase weed growth). A xeriscaped landscape, established correctly, will not have much of a weed issue. If you leave the clipping on your lawn you really do not need to fertilize. The breaking down of the thatch will provide plenty of nutrients to your plant mass as that is natures fertilizer.... broken down plans and animals. You can ammend a little with a lawn fertilizer but you probably won't need much if at all. Make sure there is a high N amount to your ferts since your thatch will create a large C:N ratio.... which isn't bad.

Every two years spring for a soil test and that will tell you how much food your plants need.

so can you guess what I do for a living?

Bdede2dbc411f2533a7e6f13674ade51

(804)

on August 26, 2011
at 05:02 PM

race car driver? ;) I'm a big fan of leaving the clippings on the lawn. My wife just thinks I'm lazy, but it does work!

Bdede2dbc411f2533a7e6f13674ade51

(804)

on August 27, 2011
at 06:19 AM

One cool thing some people here in Germany do is to let their lawn grow wild. By this I mean, they let wildflowers, moss, and even some weeds, grow along with the grass. It's actually pretty cool looking! I've even seen where they let it get quite long in the summer, carving paths through it and having a bench here and there. I have pictures somewhere.... On a different note, we've had incredible luck with some plants in our garden (spaghetti squash, zucchini, heirloom tomatoes, blueberries), but a lot of trouble with others, namely broccoli and cauliflower. Need to figure out why....

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 28, 2011
at 01:27 AM

+1 for great advice and for Coop Extension rec. Can you guess what I used to do for a living? ;-) Maybe paleo horticulturists can save the world!

8e1876a74536739ecf7bef97d5d97b76

(747)

on August 26, 2011
at 05:33 PM

ROFL yep... formula 1! Thatch is great but I warn that you do have to be more diligent with your lawn care otherwise you leave too much and lose lawn areation.... oh yeah that reminds... me areation is key. See all the fetilization process relies on micro organisms that eat the stuff down and makes it available. Those organisms are all reliant on oxygen which means areation can go a long way to happy grass (or nay plany .. .apply that to your paleo gardens

Bdede2dbc411f2533a7e6f13674ade51

(804)

on August 27, 2011
at 06:34 AM

Kind of like this... http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2079/3539263086_6639c45927_z.jpg I have other pictures of actual front yards in this fashion, but don't have time to find them right now

8e1876a74536739ecf7bef97d5d97b76

(747)

on August 29, 2011
at 02:27 PM

Regarding why you have some plants work better than others. It really matters what happens when they fail. Typically it can be anything from disease, pests, soil nutrients and soil salts. Coop Ext. can help with that as well

8e1876a74536739ecf7bef97d5d97b76

(747)

on September 06, 2011
at 03:10 PM

Just caught your message Karen! I want to possibly work for Coop Ext. one day and was on the short list for a job with them before they realized I didn't have a Masters. (Working on that now! M.S. Ag class 2013)

5
Bdede2dbc411f2533a7e6f13674ade51

(804)

on August 26, 2011
at 04:58 PM

Pick up a copy of "Gaia's Garden - A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture". It's been a good source for us and our garden here in Germany (where most chemicals are verboten). We just refer to it as organic gardening.

PS - can we really equate lawn care with being Paleo? Me thinks this paleo label is getting thrown around a bit too easily these days. Just a thought when I read the headline.

5f13fee3040eece27b7bbc9b8bad7c38

(50)

on August 26, 2011
at 07:42 PM

Lawns mayeb aren't paleo, but moving towards natural landscaping counts in my view.

Bdede2dbc411f2533a7e6f13674ade51

(804)

on August 27, 2011
at 06:22 AM

True - didn't mean to sound snarky if it came across that way. It's a good question and people on PH are obviously interested in the subject! I just guess I never thought of it in a 'Paleo' way. Being from Oregon, it's just always been 'organic' to me :)

3
967229edcc94a66580110324524feb49

(688)

on August 26, 2011
at 04:33 PM

We just mow (reel mower) and leave some light grass clippings. Once in a while (twice a year) we have our lawn fertilized with fish emulsion...Alaska Brand.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 28, 2011
at 01:30 AM

+1 for leaving lawn clippings. They don't contribute to thatch and they can provide @ 1/4 or more of a lawns fertility needs.

1
3cc6c371d2482e98d1f4e69329399493

on October 21, 2011
at 01:19 AM

There are companies around now that will bring goats over to your house and let them eat all your grown over parts. They're using them to fight off the kudzu in some parts of the south. You don't get to eat the goats when they're done, though.

1
D2e6eb2ab91f5e11589cf34b44b8e4cd

on August 26, 2011
at 04:59 PM

You can throw a bunch of grass seed out to fill in your lawn. Also corn meal kills ants! I sprinkle some over any ant pile that I find. If bugs are eating any bushes/leaves, you can mix hot sauce and a cooking oil together in a spray bottle and spray them down. Hope these little tips help!

Steph

8e1876a74536739ecf7bef97d5d97b76

(747)

on August 26, 2011
at 05:36 PM

In really bad insect infestation situations you can spray spinosad products on plants. Organic producers use it all the time. Spinosad is hte active ingredient made from a soil bacteria found in Puerto Rico. It's LD50- is about 250-500 and the renetry time is about 2-4 hours. (i.e. spray and keep the kids indoors for a couple hours.)

0
03281912f1cb9e4e771a8a83af302e3a

(1204)

on August 28, 2011
at 12:39 AM

I have considered getting pygmy goats for my backyard since they are considered pets in my town. Goats clip the grass rather than rip it out.

0
Medium avatar

(19479)

on August 26, 2011
at 10:34 PM

Whenever I start to hear the theme from "The Lion King" everytime I walk outside, I know it's time to bust a pair of these out and start clipping...

paleo-lawn-care

I shuffle around in a full on Grok squat (K-Star eat your heart out), work up a sweat, and get plenty of sun.

This works for me because my yard is pretty small and about 1/2 the space is lanscaped with rocks, pavers, and cacti in addition to a small garden plot that takes up another corner.

Weeds are yanked out by hand and the clippings are left on the yard.

0
F77c6462cf6596fe6dabeeb5931821ab

(365)

on August 26, 2011
at 09:28 PM

You ever consider just letting your lawn run wild and seeing what comes out of it? http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124338226000356493.html

8e1876a74536739ecf7bef97d5d97b76

(747)

on September 06, 2011
at 03:06 PM

The only issue regarding "letting your lawn run" is invasive vegetative species... I'd worry about that especially since it's becoming an even bigger problem these days

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!