Northwood News ♦ April 2009
10 Reasons to Plant a Meadow ... Instead of a Lawn
By Catherine Zimmerman
- 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
- “Do No Harm” Approach. Meadows require minimal
disturbance to the native landscape.
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).
- Mow Once in March. Meadows conserve fuel and labor.
- Sustainable. Meadows thrive on a cradle-to-cradle cycle, using
their waste to build soil organic matter that nourishes life.
- Year-Round Habitat. Meadows provide year-round cover and food
for insects and wildlife.
- 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.
- 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.
- Low Maintenance. Once established, meadows require no
watering, minimal mowing, no fertilizing, and no raking.
- Enjoyable. The ever-changing beauty of a meadow evokes a sense
of peace and calm, while the activity of its inhabitatns provides endless
[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.] ■