Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “Northwood News”

Northwood News ♦ April 2009

10 Reasons to Plant a Meadow ... Instead of a Lawn

By Catherine Zimmerman

  1. No Chemical Pesticides/Herbicides or Fertilizers.  Eliminating toxic chemicals protects beneficial soil organisms that support the ecosystem, the plants and animals that live there, and the people and pets who visit there.

  2. “Do No Harm” Approach.  Meadows require minimal disturbance to the native landscape.

  3. Diversity. 
    Meadows are more than lawns that need to be nowed, they are habitats teeming with life.  Meadows are home to many more different native plant, insect, and animal species than monocultures (lawns).

  4. Mow Once in March.  Meadows conserve fuel and labor.

  5. Sustainable.  Meadows thrive on a cradle-to-cradle cycle, using their waste to build soil organic matter that nourishes life.

  6. Year-Round Habitat.  Meadows provide year-round cover and food for insects and wildlife.

  7. Erosion Control.  Unlike lawns that act as green concrete, the complexity and varying heights of meadow plants will soften rainfall and prevent water from rushing over the surface of the soil.

  8. Bio Remediation.  Meadows provide a matrix of microorganisms, fungi, green plants, or their enzymes that can restore the natural environment altered by contaminants to its original condition.

  9. Low Maintenance.  Once established, meadows require no watering, minimal mowing, no fertilizing, and no raking.

  10. Enjoyable.  The ever-changing beauty of a meadow evokes a sense of peace and calm, while the activity of its inhabitatns provides endless enjoyment.

[Excerpted from Zimmerman’s forthcoming book and compansion video, Urban and Suburban Meadows:  A Meadow Landscape Primer.  Zimmerman is a certified horticulturalist and landscape designer who is accredited in organic land care.  She lives on Lorain Ave.]   ■

   © 2009 NFCCA  [Source:]