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Thread: Bee lawns

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    5,805
    A "lawn" only became a middle class thing after the invention of the lawnmower around 1865. Before that it was mowed by livestock, corralled inside a ha-ha with herdsman to take care of them or a crew of men with scythes. Normal folk had a dirt yard.
    Bill D.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Highland MI
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    I live in a subdivision (450 homes) which has always had nice lawns, dandelions were the sure first obvious sign that someone wasn't paying attention to their lawns. Our are typically 1/4 acre, not the 2 acre estate size lawns mentioned earlier. Yea, 2 acre lawns are a whole other thing. It is going to take a groundswell of mind change for folks to see dandelions and other weeds in the lawn of a $400k homes as a worthwhile tradeoff and as desirable. Personally I am not willing to give up my green lawn. Yet. We want to save the bees but aren't willing to pay the personal price. I do insist on a non-phosphorus fertilizer as most of us are on the lake. But that is another discussion.
    Last edited by Ole Anderson; 04-10-2021 at 10:46 AM.
    NOW you tell me...

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Putney, Vermont
    Posts
    940
    My yard is like a Monet painting every spring and summer. My wife is a wild flower fanatic, and I let the yard go to seed and hay it.

    Bluets,white and purple violets,moss,daisy fleabains, white and yellow daisies,indian paintbrushes, wild strawberry,dandelions, and some grasses that flower. We have ground bees and bees that make nests along with bumblebees, lunar moths, hummingbirds. She also has large patches of bee balm,flocks,giant sunflowers that come up every year and are about 9 feet tall. and other flowers I cannot recall. But the bees love the holly bushes hydrangea tree that is about 18 feet in diameter, and other bushes planted for the birds and bees.

    We also feed hundreds and hundreds of birds,as their habitat is disappearing and they find our place to be. One mulberry tree feeds dozens of waxwings,oriols, catbirds and all the other regular birds we have all year. I have planted a few more mulberry trees about the yard for them.

    When I step outside I am greeted by bluejays, we feed almost 100 every winter, and a family of crows that nest on our property every year. I am greeted by dozens of crows all over the surrounding towns, when I go out to the store or appointments. They all acknowledge my wife and I and people just look at us with wonder when they see it. Most of them were born at our place and we were given the duty of watching them after they fledged the nest. We also have a family of Ravens that follow us and acknowledge us every day. The stories I could tell.

    We do not have cats and dogs and the birds have become a part of our life these past years.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    129
    I've got no connection to this company but I came across Ernst Conservation Seeds that claims to offer seeds for restoring native plants/landscapes which seems promising.

    Ernst Conservation Seeds offers hundreds of species of native & naturalized seeds & live plant materials (ernstseed.com)

    The have a search tool which includes pollinators, most of the mixes seem to be for the east coast
    Seed Finder Tool | Ernst Conservation Seeds (ernstseed.com)


    They also have a Honey Bee forage pasture mix.
    Honey Bee Forage Mix - Ernst Conservation Seeds (ernstseed.com)


    Regarding a site suggesting fine fescue, I think the reasoning may be that fine fescues don't require much/any fertilizer and grow relatively slow, so that once the lawn is cut the clovers etc will grow faster than the grasses and the clover flowers will not be shaded out by the grass.

    From what I've read it seems that pre ww2, clover was frequently in lawns because it fixes/adds nitrogen into the soil.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Maryland
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    129
    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Anderson View Post
    I do insist on a non-phosphorus fertilizer as most of us are on the lake. But that is another discussion.
    Here in Maryland there's a state law that bans phosphorus in lawn fertilizer mixes (except seed starter ferts) because of the problems it causes for the Chesapeake bay
    Last edited by Mike Soaper; 04-10-2021 at 10:55 PM.

  6. #36
    Agree with Ole. Nothing wrong with some dandelions, you are going to have some ,yellow is nice . However, at some point
    a majority of the neighbors will decide that they have gotten “too popular, they were nice when I had mine”. Churches and cemeteries will lead a crusade back to green lawns,
    armed with copies of local ordinances on weeds.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    129
    Oh, i don't know, it seems "cemeteries" and the phrase "pushing up daisies" go together
    Last edited by Mike Soaper; 04-10-2021 at 9:42 PM.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    129
    Hey Scott, thanks for the seed offer I might take you up on that later but Jim's and Roger's native plant insights have given me food for thought that I need to think thru a bit more.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Soaper View Post
    Oh, i don't know, it seems "cemeteries" and the phrase "pushing up daisies" go together

    I always thought it meant the big flowers. Today I just realized it may be referring to the small lawn daisies. Lawn daisies are just one step removed from dandelions
    Bill D

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    56,671
    One of the things I love about this time of year...

    IMG_E9220.jpg
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    New England
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    1,924
    Fantabulous.

    Now tell me what those marvelous flowers are.

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Fairbanks AK
    Posts
    674
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Soaper View Post
    Hey Scott, thanks for the seed offer I might take you up on that later but Jim's and Roger's native plant insights have given me food for thought that I need to think thru a bit more.
    Fair enough. I went looking a little bit, there are, per wikipedia, about 300 recognized species in the genus Delphinium and I have no idea which one mine are. I am in climate zone 1 or 2 depending on who is writing the guidelines. If I have mine staked high enough they will routinely reach 9-11 feet tall, but they got to be staked and sheltered from the wind to do it.

    I will ask around a little bit to see if a local gardener can identify my species. I have heard several times it is our long periods of daylight in the summer that let the delphinium get so tall.

    I am all about not having Emerald Ash borers and foriegn carp and Lion Fish even running around loose in North America. One thing I can do is stash some sealed, dried seeds in my tool shed next winter. If I have them thoroughly dry before I put them through the food saver system and it gets cold enough long enough they should be benign to ship. I think it is something like -42dF or colder for about 15 hours to make wild salmon I caught myself safe to cut up and serve as sashimi.

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    56,671
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Zellers View Post
    Fantabulous.

    Now tell me what those marvelous flowers are.
    I honestly don't know what the little blue flowers are...they just naturalized in the lawn and have spread nicely over the past few years. The yellow flower is a buttercup of some sort but the dandelions are starting...our honeybees are thankful about that!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    10,680
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    I honestly don't know what the little blue flowers are...they just naturalized in the lawn and have spread nicely over the past few years. The yellow flower is a buttercup of some sort but the dandelions are starting...our honeybees are thankful about that!
    Probably not a problem if you don't mow or don't have animals that eat grass, but a type of small blue flower that will take over here is noxious and the buttercup is worse. The buttercup plants, especially, will take over until they cover every inch and no animal I've had will eat it - goats, llamas, equines. When I mow the pastures the chemicals released from buttercup plants are so bad I have to wear sealed goggles or a full-face respirator to protect my eyes. I've seen other fields at local farms that were so full of buttercup they looked like a sea of yellow! A friend has the same problem with the little blue flowers that took over his field.

    Our bees are working the dandelions here and have just started on the holly. I can hear the bees in one holly tree from maybe 20-30 ft away. Bees are working the fruit trees, blueberry, and other berries and shrubs now as well as some trees. The nectar flow is about to explode.

  15. #45
    +1 for plants in the mint family. We plant catnip (a mint) in one of our seasonal herb beds and that thing is COVERED in bees every year.

    Erik
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

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