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Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:17 am
Location: Australia

Turning lawns back to natural environment

:? Can anyone tell me how to turn my lawn back into a natural environment without having to break my back. I have let the lawn go and have weeds growing (dandlions) and at least some bees have now come around as well as lizards and the occasional frog. Apart from my small house site 658 Sq metres I am surrounded by concrete development on three sides, I would prefer an out of control jungle rather than a sterile environment. I live in Australia so does anyone have any advice to offer me. Thanks for reading this.
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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:04 am
Location: Oregon

Just my own experience, but I hired a company to remove most of my lawn last year. They brought in a sod cutter to do the job. I had them leave a very small patch, just because I like the look of it.

Once your lawn is removed, you would need to replant the area with native vegetation. I don't know what kind of plants are native to your area, but there's probably some group or agency Australia that can advise you. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Agree with Kisal, I think your best bet is to get rid of everything there, which will likely be mostly invasive exotic weeds and start over, planting native grasses and wildflowers.

Here's a couple websites to start with for that:

https://asgap.org.au/ (australian native plant society)

https://www.sgaonline.org.au/plants.html (sustainable gardening australia)

You do, of course, have other choices. You can continue as you are just stopping mowing and let the lawn grow out. As noted, you will have mostly your same lawn grass monoculture gradually more and more colonized by weeds. But we did that with a one patch of the lawn at my Quaker Meeting (church). Once the grass was grown out, we dug out small holes and planted in native wildflowers. Some took and some didn't and a few (goldenrod) have taken the place over. In our temperate humid area, we have to mow it once or twice a year to keep it meadow instead of reverting to forest. It still looks a bit weedy and unplanned, but very tall and thick and pretty in the fall when the goldenrod and some asters are in bloom.

Or instead of cutting the sod out, you could do sheet mulching (type that into Search the Forum, there's a lot of info). Scythe down or mow everything that's there so that it all lies flat. Then lay down many layers thickness of newspaper (water before and after the newspaper) and then lay down some inches thick of good topsoil on top of the newspaper, water, and plant into that. It's the same get rid of everything and start over idea, but less labor intensive way to desod. I did it to create a couple of small flower beds in my lawn and it worked beautifully.

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