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Lawn Reform Coalition badge: Grass is not always greener...

Introducing the Lawn Reform Coalition
by Ginny Stibolt

Today (September 14, 2009) we are introducing the Lawn Reform Coalition and its website (, which provides resources and examples for helping homeowners and businesses all over the country change the way they think about lawns. To mark this beginning, Susan Morrison of Blue Planet Garden Blog is running a contest. You fill in the blank: "I used to have a lawn, but now I have a ______. " Answer the question by September 30th and you could win a copy of John Greenlee's The American Meadow Garden.

I joined with the eight other members of the coalition to provide reasonable actions and alternatives for Florida's climate and soils. I think we can work together to restore some of the 'Real Florida' by reducing lawn acreage and by reducing the use of poisons and fertilizers all over the state. In these tough economic times, why spend your time and money on unsustainable lawns?

Ginny's lawn in summer 09. Photo by Stibolt

Our Freedom Lawn

Since moving into our house in the spring of 2004, we've not used chemicals or fertilizer on our lawn, but our lawn areas are presentable, as you can see in this photo taken this summer. I've written about our lawn care several times, but now I have a name to describe it: it's a "Freedom Lawn."

A close up of Ginny's lawn shows that it's inhabited by several types of plants--not all grasses. Photo by Stibolt

A close-up in one area of our lawn shows that there are several types of plants growing there, and most of them are not turf grass. In other areas, there is still a lot of the original St. Augustine grass left. >>

Honey, We Shrunk the Lawn!

In addition to more environmentally sound treatment of our lawn, we've also we've also reduced its area by creating meadows in several areas and replacing lawn with mulched areas under trees and in pathways where grass was not doing well anyway.

In case you missed them, here's a list of my lawn articles: Reducing the Lawn in your Landscape, Managing a Natural Meadow, Cutting Edges, The Lawn Less Mown.

Grass isn't always greener...

Ginny Stibolt would like to hear from readers who have suggestions and questions. After all, there are more than a few transplanted gardeners here in northeast Florida trying to figure out what works and what doesn't in planting zone 8/9. She's written a book, "Sustainable Gardening for Florida," published by University Press of Florida. You may contact her or read extra details on her articles and other information posted on her website:

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