Transform your chemical habit into a living habitat

Learn more about reducing your lawn

Why would I want to reduce the amount of lawn in my yard?

To answer this question, we offer "God's Take On Lawns" printed in the El Ojo Del Lago News:

God: Hey St. Francis, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there in the Midwest? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect "no maintenance" garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But all I see are these green rectangles.

St. Francis: It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers "weeds" and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

God: Grass? But it's so boring. It's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees, only grubs and sod worms. It's temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

St. Francis: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

God: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.

St. Francis: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it... sometimes twice a week.

God: They cut it? Do they then bail it like hay?

St. Francis: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

God: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

St. Francis: No Sir. Just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

God: Now let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

St. Francis: Yes, Sir.

God: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

St. Francis: You are not going to believe this Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

God: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves form compost to enhance the soil. It's a natural circle of life.

St. Francis: You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

God: No. What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter and to keep the soil moist and loose?

St. Francis: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

God: And where do they get this mulch?

St. Francis: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

God: Enough. I don't want to think about this anymore. Sister Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

Sister Catherine: "Dumb and Dumber", Lord. It's a real stupid movie about.....

God: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.

We couldn't have said it better.

How many square feet of lawn do you really need?

Lawn is most people's default yard. If they can't figure out what to do with an outdoor space, they plant grass. Lawns, historically and culturally, actually have their origins in Europe where the cool, rainy climate allowed them to thrive. But traditional lawn grass is not the best choice for most Nebraska sites: It doesn't like shade, it doesn't like heat, it struggles in most urban soil conditions, and it takes a lot of time, water, and fertilizer to keep it looking good.

So rather than imitating a foreign tradition, let's celebrate the intrinsic beauty of native Nebraska. Kick the European habit. Transform part or all of your lawn into a "habitat." A habitat of native, resilient, beautiful, and sophisticated native prairie grasses and wildflowers. A meadow like this requires little work and no irrigation or fertilizer once it's established.

Why less lawn and more meadows and prairies?

  • Far more satisfying than a lawn
  • Better for the environment
  • Provide a safe habitat for beneficial insects and birds
  • They're alive with rhythmic movement, catching wind and light
  • They require less maintenance and consume significantly fewer resources

Prices start at just $1.25 per square foot and include:

  • A meadow planned and designed with your EcoCoach so it's uniquely yours
  • Turn the existing lawn and vegetation into compost
  • Improvement of the soil with organic compost and compost tea
  • Preparation of the seed bed and planting
  • Use of our drip irrigation system with automatic timer (goof proofs watering) until plants establish
  • Six months of chemical-free weeding and care

Call 402-575-7988 or request a quote to get more information about adding wildflower meadows and grass mini-prairies to your yard.