What is this blog?

This blog seeks to answer questions about sustainable gardening for those who are not familiar with the practice. The author holds a master’s in environmental science, works as a journalist, and practices a combination of permaculture and native plant gardening in Madison, Wisconsin. Leave your own questions as a comment on any post, and they will be answered soon!

This blog is best read from the beginning.

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What is this blog?

2 thoughts on “What is this blog?

  1. Lisa Lansing MHC 1964 says:

    Hi Janette — I’m actually responding to your article in the MHC Quarterly which I read with interest. I would love to reduce our lawn here in rural Cornwall CT but there are caveats. The conventional wisdom is that letting long grass get too close to the house lets ticks get closer to you! As you may know CT is a nasty place for ticks bearing truly awful diseases so it is of interest to keep them at bay. There are some commercial sprays for lawns, supposed to be organic, but who knows? By the way I agree with all your points about “going bold,” but at what cost — nasty insect-wise? Lisa Lansing Simont MHC ’64

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    1. Hi Lisa – Good question! Ticks actually are quite infrequently mentioned as an objection to natural yards, so I don’t know as much about them as about some more common concerns. But here are two things I can tell you.

      First, tall grass may attract ticks, but it will also attract tick predators. A single opossum will eat thousands of ticks in a season. Making room for a healthy ecosystem can be far more effective at limiting the populations of unwanted insects than spraying pesticides is.

      Second, you are exactly right that tall grass may not belong next to the house! Since native plants will attract wildlife, it’s best to put them in a part of your space you don’t mind sharing. Depending on how you use your yard and what kinds of animals live in your region, you may want to keep some lawn nearest to the house, to discourage wildlife from getting too close.

      Thanks for visiting, and good luck with your yard!

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