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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in Florida and I have a yard full of weeds, dirt, and some grass. I have no interest in planting a nice pretty green lawn that requires a sprinkeler system and fertilizer, etc.<br><br>
So my first choice is a ground cover. The guy at the (NON-ORGANIC) lawn center said thats impossible and its dangerous anyways. (Because the vines would possible be trip hazards for the kids.) I think he is right about that.<br><br>
So I was looking at herbs and I found st johns wort to be really nice. The garden center guy said that might be dangerous because its a holistic drug. I should have said "My kids dont eat my lawn now, why would they if I had st johns wort?"<br><br>
Would that work? Planting an herb and letting it take over my lawn?<br><br>
Would you be worried about the st johns wort?<br><br>
Has anyone groundcovered their lawn? How did it work for you?<br><br>
Jenny
 

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I would not be worried about the st john's wort unless your kids decide to eat it by the pound. Other options would be just a mix of wildflowers that would bloom at various times of the season. chamomile is another great option. It gives a more cushiony lawn and has flowers that are great for tea (although I guess these may considered a "holistic drug" too <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> ) Also, with chamomile if you decide you want to cut your lawn, it will be really fragrant everytime you cut it. good luck..i hope to convince dh to do a wildflower/groundcover lawn when we build.
 

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These guys might have some cool options - <a href="http://www.wildflowerfarm.com/" target="_blank">http://www.wildflowerfarm.com/</a>
 

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I don't know about florida, but I think here in CO you can use creeping thyme. It smells super too.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>fallriverfox</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8235313"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't know about florida, but I think here in CO you can use creeping thyme. It smells super too.</div>
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we use creeping thyme here in CT too.<br><br>
For use in FL i would worry about burnout.
 

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Where in Florida are you? We're in Lakeland and xeriscape (no yard). We've not had a ton of luck with herbs as ground cover, honestly. Unless you are willing to really water it in the dry months (we never do, really), it tends to burn easily.<br><br>
Have you contacted Florida Yards at your county Extension Office?<br><a href="http://www.floridayards.org/" target="_blank">http://www.floridayards.org/</a><br>
They actually came out and gave us ideas about what would work with our sun, water, soil, etc - all for free!
 

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Yea I was about to post, the chamomile can't survive b/c it will get to dry and it gets to hot to germinate here.<br><br>
There is one that I want called the sunshine mimosa, I see some neighbors have many in their yard and they are sooo pretty, I tried to pull up one of the plants, roots and all in hopes of it reproducing but.... it didn't<br><br><a href="http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/1873/index.html" target="_blank">http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/1873/index.html</a><br><br>
Oh mint does really good, my great grandpa has had it in his yard for years, not the entire yard but a big chunk, I pulled some of them, planted them in the sand that my yard is made of, I do keep them watered since they are right next to my zinnias, but he never waters his and they survive.<br><br>
I hear creeping thyme does fine in FL, it is worth a try.<br><br>
If all else fails, bahia grass!<br><br>
I had a lot of weeds in my yard when I moved in... I would pull them up here and there, except the ones that make flowers <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> If I saw some grass that was making seeds I would throw the seeds in the bare spots or pull grass in unwanted areas and throw it in the bare areas. SOMEHOW I have a lawn with grass <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>OnTheBrink</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8282052"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Where in Florida are you? We're in Lakeland and xeriscape (no yard). We've not had a ton of luck with herbs as ground cover, honestly. Unless you are willing to really water it in the dry months (we never do, really), it tends to burn easily.<br><br>
Have you contacted Florida Yards at your county Extension Office?<br><a href="http://www.floridayards.org/" target="_blank">http://www.floridayards.org/</a><br>
They actually came out and gave us ideas about what would work with our sun, water, soil, etc - all for free!</div>
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We are in Spring Hill north of Tampa. Actually we probably have the same climate as lakeland. I have called the extenstion office about classes but had no idea they would come to our house!!! I will have to call them! That is an awesome resource. Thank you!<br><br>
My main thing is that the kids have someplace to play in the backyard. A greenhouse guy suggested mulch and I looked at him like he was purple. I was like "That doesnt sound like easy maintence to me-dont you have to replace it all the time?!" LOL. Some people just live in a box-he told me that what I wanted to do was impossible. impossible. really.<br><br>
Jenny
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jenniferlearnest</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8282441"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My main thing is that the kids have someplace to play in the backyard. A greenhouse guy suggested mulch and I looked at him like he was purple. I was like "That doesnt sound like easy maintence to me-dont you have to replace it all the time?!" LOL. Some people just live in a box-he told me that what I wanted to do was impossible. impossible. really.</div>
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All we have in the backyard is mulch, actually. Here are some pictures:<br><a href="http://www.familymoses.net/outside.htm" target="_blank">http://www.familymoses.net/outside.htm</a><br><br>
We do replenish it every year or so, but it's simple and free! We have a tree removal company bring us the stuff from trees they remove and put through the wood chipper. They are happy to do it so they don't have to pay to dump it. We are happy to take it because it's nutrient rich (still has lots of green) and FREE! My husband is outside spreading a huge load right now!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

All we have in the backyard is mulch, QUOTE]<br><br>
That is actually quite nice! I assumed that those tree companys SOLD that stuff, that is amazing! Did you just call around or what? Let me know how you found that deal!<br><br>
I thought mulch was a ton of work becauses I can remember for 2 years my FIL was putting down pine bark somewhere and every time we came to his house like twice a week, he would have us pick up MORE. I was like "That stuff must decompose really fast!" I am so low maintenence. I admit a partly want xeriscape because I am lazy! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I like that you still have plants there too. I want to put some native plants and a butterfly garden around but I probably wont do it in the kids area because with babies especially, I think they will get destroyed.<br><br>
:)<br><br>
Your little boy is adorable BTW<br><br>
Jenny
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>OnTheBrink</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8282539"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">All we have in the backyard is mulch, QUOTE]<br><br>
That is actually quite nice! I assumed that those tree companys SOLD that stuff, that is amazing! Did you just call around or what? Let me know how you found that deal!<br><br>
I thought mulch was a ton of work becauses I can remember for 2 years my FIL was putting down pine bark somewhere and every time we came to his house like twice a week, he would have us pick up MORE. I was like "That stuff must decompose really fast!" I am so low maintenence. I admit a partly want xeriscape because I am lazy! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I like that you still have plants there too. I want to put some native plants and a butterfly garden around but I probably wont do it in the kids area because with babies especially, I think they will get destroyed.<br><br>
:)<br><br>
Your little boy is adorable BTW<br><br>
Jenny</div>
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I looked in the yellow pages under Tree Removal companies (or something). Some of them had little notes on their ads that said "free mulch." Just call and ask to be put on their list. I actually ended up getting it from a friend with a tree company, but he takes it to all kinds of people - they just have to ask. If you spot a tree company working in your area, just go up to them and ask if they are willing to give you the mulch.<br><br>
We TOTALLY xeriscape out of laziness! The enviromental thing is a bonus, but mostly we are very lazy people! (Oh, and cheap!)<br><br>
You'd be surprised how tender babies can be with plants. My 18 month old niece is here for the weekend. She loves to sit and look at the plants with my 6 year old. She especially loves the flowering plants and the butterflies that visit. Just make sure you don't get anything that would be unhealthy if they ate it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah, thats the difference between boys and girls....LOL. No, JK-my little monkey man would have terrorized a garden!<br><br>
Yeah, alot of plants are poisinus-we need to do our homework. I heard hibiscus was poisonus. (sp?)<br><br>
I am going to get the yellow pages out right now!<br><br>
Jenny
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jenniferlearnest</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8282900"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Yeah, thats the difference between boys and girls....LOL. No, JK-my little monkey man would have terrorized a garden!<br><br>
Yeah, alot of plants are poisinus-we need to do our homework. I heard hibiscus was poisonus. (sp?)<br><br>
I am going to get the yellow pages out right now!<br><br>
Jenny</div>
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Oh no! My 2.5 yo boy LOVES the garden! He gets to plant his own things and is VERY protective!<br><br>
We do lots of vegetable gardening even as decorative plants. So when they end up eating them, it's just fine.<br><br>
I've never heard that hibiscus is poisonous! In fact, it's often listed as edible and in recipes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
2 questions about mulch-<br><br>
1. Does it attract termites?<br><br>
2. Did you just put it on top of grass? We have grass and weeds but just not pretty. I wonder if we would have to dig up the yard.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jenniferlearnest</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8283285"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">2 questions about mulch-<br><br>
1. Does it attract termites?<br><br>
2. Did you just put it on top of grass? We have grass and weeds but just not pretty. I wonder if we would have to dig up the yard.</div>
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This is the 2nd house we've xeriscaped and we've never had trouble with termites. We do keep it about 4 inches from the actual house, though, just to be safe.<br><br>
I did put it right on top of our grass. But first we sprayed vinegar all over the grass and let it sit in hot sun for 2 days. That really kills it off. (You could use Roundup as well, if you prefer.) We've never digged up anything.
 
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