But seriously, when we got our property, it was all just…grass. A sterile grass moonscape, like a billion other yards. With two big old maple trees. Just grass and maples, that was it.
But then I got my grubby little paws on it, and I immediately stopped fertilizing, spraying, and bagging up grass clippings and leaves. I ripped up sod and put in flowers and vegetables. I put down nice thick blankets of mulch around the flowers and vegetables.
When I first was sweating my way through stripping sod, I saw a grand total of 1 worm and 0 ladybugs. The ground was compacted into something that would bend shovel blades.
Now, six years later, I can’t dig a planting hole without turning up fourteen earthworms, and there are so many ladybugs here. Not the invasive asian lady beetles; native ladybugs. They winter over in the mulch and in the brush pile. I see thousands of them.
The soil is soft and rich. There are birds that come to eat, and bees of many sorts.
Like this is something that you, yourself, can absolutely change. This is something that you, personally, can make a difference in.
Like, last year I watched no fewer than twenty-nine monarch caterpillars grow up on my milkweed and fly away as butterflies. I watched swallowtails and moths grow. There are hummingbirds fighting over flowers now.
I did that. Me. You can do the same.
I would like to learn how to do this. Sometimes it all seems so overwhelming. I just want to find someone who can come over for a cuppa, and we can wander the yard and they can make me a plan.
Preferably a very easy to follow, doesn’t take too much time every day plan.
It’s not nearly so intimidating as it sounds.
You can do a whole lot of good just by not spraying your yard, not mowing it so often, and not raking up leaves and grass.
But as a certified Lazy Ass Gardener, I can tell you for 100% certain that this is attainable, and requires absolutely zero, none, nada, zilch expensive or complicated equipment.
I don’t even have a plan. I just do things.
Wait so, dont mow as much, dont pick up the grass when you mow, and dont pick up leaves and your grass is healthier? my dad likes to mow the lawn every one to 2 weeks in the summer💀 what other tips do you guys have?
Yup. Those grass and leaf clippings rot down and fertilize the soil.
Grass does BETTER when it’s not mown short, and gives more hiding places to all sorts of insects.
Don’t spray. Let the bugs and ‘weeds’ live.
i have a 10’x10’ piece of garden that i initially used to grow things, but i abandoned it completely and now its absolutely covered in “weeds” and i even have a volunteer shrub that makes berries! the amount of native bees and other insects i attract is incredible. and all i do to maintain it is nothing.
For reals. I have to mow my front yard (I live in an HOA… ugh), but I don’t bag my clippings. I never water my yard (and I live in Texas!), but my grass is green all year. The clippings and mulched leaves keep in moisture and they’re nature’s fertilizer! Lizards and frogs hide under the leaves and clippings, and when you remove those, you are removing their habitat. Bugs will show up and munch on the clippings, and their waste adds more nutrients as well. I don’t fertilize. I don’t spray. I let nature do its thing. Even just in the front, there are bugs everywhere. I’ve found the tiny green sweat bees nesting in the ground under my rose bush, and the giant cicada killer wasps had a nest somewhere in my front yard last year–I couldn’t find it, but they were pollinating the sorrelvine that randomly showed up and decided to climb up my oak tree (which was the host plant for the Vine Sphinx moths and the first batch of sawflies I raised!)
In the back? I planted a few things in a small garden area, and I intentionally planted three (3) trees, but I’m busy/lazy and the back yard became the paradise jungle it is when I was writing my Master’s thesis after moving into this house, and I never had the heart to start mowing it. A bunch more trees decided to start growing on their own and I constantly have to murder soapberry and hackberry and elm saplings. My yard is covered in a mix of native plants and invasive bunch grass, in addition to random grains and sunflowers growing under the bird feeders. They all serve as hosts for insects.
In less than three years, I have documented almost 1000 species of plants, insects, birds, fungi, slime molds, and mammals. My yard is 0.10 acres. I have ladybugs crawling out of my ears. The larvae are pupating all over my horse skeleton!!!
So yeah. Want species diversity in your yard? Plant native plants. Are you a lazy ass like me and want species diversity? Then don’t do anything, congratulations, nature still wins (just look out for all those invasives, and have fun pulling out catchweed -_-)
April 5, 2019