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A short presentation on ecolawns or ecology lawns with helpful references and links for more information

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  1. 1. Ecolawns Linda R McMahan, Ph.D. Associate Professor Emeritus Department of Horticulture Oregon State University
  2. 2. What is an ecolawn? • An ecolawn is a lawn alternative that often includes broad-leaf plants mixed with grasses • Also may be called an eco-lawn, ecology lawn, or herb lawn • Generally requires less water and fertilizer than all-turf alternatives Photographs are from Randy W’s garden unless noted otherwise
  3. 3. Ecolawn components • Most mixes claiming to be ecology lawns have flowering plants as a component—some just have drought-tolerant grasses • Make sure you find out contents before purchasing your mix to make sure it is what you wish to use Grasses, clover, and “English daisy”
  4. 4. Very Low Maintenance Alternative "Perhaps 70 percent of these home lawns are never fertilized and very few are ever treated with herbicides for weed control, . . .Sounds pretty low maintenance to me. In fact, total neglect might be a better description.” Tom Cook, retired Oregon State University faculty, 2003
  5. 5. Research at Oregon State University • "When we irrigated these 'ecolawn' mixes once per month in the summer, and mowed every three weeks during the growing season, the lawn stayed green and for the most part looked like a normal lawn," said Cook. "We never sprayed any of the plots with pesticides.“ • Tom Cook, Retired OSU faculty, 2003.
  6. 6. More photos from Randy’s Garden
  7. 7. Photos from Diane S., another OSU Master Gardener in Yamhill County, showing her “herb lawn”
  8. 8. Care is relatively Simple • According to “Low Maintenance Turf” Publication at Oregon State University at http://horticulture.or m/files/2005Ecolawn s-2.pdf by Tom Cook • Mow to 2 inches every 3 weeks • Water thoroughly 2-3 times in summer only • Use little or no fertilizer
  9. 9. More from OSU sources • Very helpful site! Low-maintenance turf details (including composition) at OSU’s Department of Horticulture Site: http://horticulture.or nt/low-maintenanceturf Photo from the website
  10. 10. Some seed mixes available from Oregon companies • The following seed companies offer mixtures based on Cook's work: Nichols Garden Nursery, Albany, OR and ProTime Lawn Seed, Portland, OR ("Fleur de Lawn" • Another local alternative is Protime PT-705 PDX seed mix from Hobbs & Hopkins Ltd. • Other mixes may be available—web searches may be the best way to locate them.
  11. 11. More information . . . • News article about lawn alternatives at http://oregonprogress.or all-2001/strange-brew • She dreams of a soft groundcover wandering gently among flower beds. Where weeds now reign, she sees a textured carpet—a mix of grasses, yarrow, shamrock, clover and sweet alyssum. • Photo: Tom Gentle, from the website
  12. 12. Ecolawn presentation at Beaverturf website at OSU • http://horticulture.or nt/ecolawns-pacificnorthwest This is one of Tom Cook’s Presentations available for viewing online at the website
  13. 13. An ecolawn brochure • Download at http://extension.oregon s/default/files/ecolawnb rochurefeb13.pdf Photo from the OSU Extension Hood River website • Ecolawn: The Learning Garden. A brochure created by Steve Castagnoli and OSU Master Gardeners in Hood River, OR in 2013!
  14. 14. Thank You! • I might not have answered all of your questions. Visit the links in the short presentation to learn more! This presentation may be used freely for educational purposes. © Oregon State University, 2014