In conjunction with, and as a result of tests conducted at Oregon State University, we are now offering several lines of ecology seed mixes that were created to reduce maintenance and resource utilization. Although not necessarily appropriate for all locations, these mixtures can enhance a site's sustainability and reduce long-term maintenance costs.
These ecological lawn mixtures combine dwarf grasses with low-growing herbaceous plants and clovers to produce a green cover with reduced mowing, fertilization and irrigation. The result is a low maintenance alternative to manicured turf. This is probably not a good choice for high profile areas on a property but could be appropriate for perimeters and roadways.
Although these ecology mixes are not necessarily new, their use has not caught on as most have not been maintained properly. Although they require less maintenance, they will turn into ugly fields if not properly maintained. We are working on establishing those maintenance requirements to ensure these EcoLawns retain an appropriate appearance. Our goal is to save resources and money while keeping your property beautiful.
Lawn is the least expensive landscape element for installation cost. However, it can be the most expensive to maintain depending on its location. The smaller and more difficult to access lawns are, the more time consuming and costly they are to maintain. Even more significant is the fact that lawns in parking islands and parking strips, surrounded by asphalt and concrete and then planted with trees, means they are more difficult to efficiently irrigate which drives up the water need and cost. As water rates are rising significantly faster than most other utilities and property related expenses, lawn conversion to save water often has outstanding return on investment.
We have been developing a variety of options to replace lawn with shrubs that have a lower water requirement. In addition to selecting plants that have a lower water requirement, we have also inserted the use of rock in certain instances to successfully complete the landscape while lowering water usage. Lawn conversion often improves the visual appearance of the landscape.