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Ginny Stibolt
Green Cove Springs, FL
Garden writer: author of "Sustainable Gardening for Florida."
Recent Activity
GIMME GREEN, a documentary that examines the American obsession with the residential lawn, was created by two students at the University of Florida in Gainesville in 2006. Here are some of the lawn facts shared on their website: -Lawns are America's most irrigated crop. -Every day, more than 5,000 acres... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2013 at Lawn Reform Coalition
The Lawn Reform Coalition was started by a group of environmental writers and activists who recognized the need for a centralized place for information and resources. This website and blog is the result. The twelve coalition members continue to spread the word about appropriate lawns and sustainable care for their... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2012 at Lawn Reform Coalition
All the photos were taken last Saturday (May 7th) including the top photo of the club house. They mow the meadow once a year in Jan. or Feb. to cut back the woody plants. St. Augustine usually receives several hard freezes during those months. But the volunteers do some "editing" throughout the year to keep some of the over-zealous plants from taking over. In the photo the volunteer is cutting back some flat-topped goldenrod (Euthamia caroliniana). There are a number of grasses in the meadow, but I did not pay too much attention to them. And the people providing the tours around the meadow did not mention the grasses other than the gamma grass.
No, not a meadow planted with the ubiquitous turfgrass used here in Florida, but a ten-year-old wildflower meadow located in the nation’s oldest city. The meadow is located on the grounds of this well-manicured club house in the neighborhood called St. Augustine Shores located next to the Intra-coastal Waterway--The Riverview... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2011 at Lawn Reform Coalition
This article in the NY Times Green Blog, Now Starter Homes Boast Solar Arrays, Todd Woody writes about KB homes in "a desert suburb southeast of Los Angeles" with solar panels. The developer brags, “Our Energy Star-qualified homes are already among the most energy-efficient available today,” Mr. LeMessurier said, referring... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2011 at Lawn Reform Coalition
John, Good point about using wood chip mulch (And other organic mulches such as sawdust, bark nuggets, or shredded wood) properly to avoid problems--termites, ants, fungi, and others. Mulch should not be piled up next to a building's foundation or up against trees in the landscape. That being said, wherever there are organic materials waiting to be decomposed, there will be organisms there to do so. Good luck with your lawn conversion. Send us some before and after photos.
This guest post is by Ryan Leavengood, an active member of the Florida Native Plant Society. When I gave a talk at the Palm Beach FNPS chapter about my native landscaping projects around my home in November 2010 I called the talk "Adventures In Lawn Conversion." While that is certainly... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2011 at Lawn Reform Coalition
Kris, The Lawn Reform Coalition provides many good ideas for sustainable lawn care in climates where there is enough rain to support turf grass. In arid climates lawns are a bad idea. On the other hand, even if there is adequate rainfall, there are many non-lawn options for landscaping. We present these ideas for folks who may not have considered alternatives. While your company's goal is to make money, you won't make friends here by pushing your agenda.
Hi Steve, HOAs need to operate differently because of the new Florida-friendly law. They can no longer force someone to plant something that is not Florida Friendly. See my interview with Mike Thomas, the head honcho of the program, on the Florida Native Plant Society blog: There are links for further information specifically for HOAs. As for native plants in the state, see the Association of Florida Native Nurseries website. You can choose a county or a plant in your search. One of my future articles that I'll post here will include suggestions for lawn alternatives for Florida. Sunshine mimosa is my favorite groundcover solution so far.
Thanks Don. Here in the south fall is NOT the time to fertilize because our grass is going into dormancy. And weed & feed is certainly not the way to fertilize because the herbicides are not good for the vigor of the turf grass.
Laura, Florida receives 50" of rain on average and that may be more than most of TX. But we do have irrigation restrictions because so many people over-water their lawns. During the winter, in our district, we are limited to irrigating once a week and the rest of the, year twice a week. When I was on a state-wide book tour last year, one of my topics was sustainable lawn care. A frequent question was "What can I do about dollar weed (Hydrocotyle spp.), if I don't use poisons?" My smart alec answer was call it a beautiful ground cover and call it good, but then I followed up with that if you have dollar weed, you're over-watering your lawn. People are getting bad advice from so-called experts who work for companies that make money by selling un-needed chemicals or services. The Lawn Reform Coalition provides other information and alternatives. Thanks for writing and good luck with lawn reform in Texas.
Frank, I don't disagree with you and I look forward to seeing your new all-native landscaping. But once you stop poisoning it and stop over-watering it, there will be an adjustment period, but then the soil becomes alive again allowing birds and other bug predators to work for you. The photos are of my lawn, which is much smaller than when we bought the house in 2004. While it's no longer 100% St Augustine in some areas, it is where the conditions are ideal, like down by the lake.
St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), the mainstay of southern lawns is native to Florida according to the Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants and has been collected in the wild in most of the state. St. Augustine grass has been described as a seashore pioneer plant for centuries. The grass that... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2011 at Lawn Reform Coalition
I made the effort to certify my yard as habitat several years ago and encouraged others to do so as well. I did not mind paying for a year's NWF membership or for the sign that I've posted to let my neighbors know what we were doing with our front meadow area. But NWF is sneaky about not telling you up front that they'll be charging for the privilege of certification. I know of folks who were offended by this practice of the last minute fee after doing all the work and answering all their questions that they abandoned the process. With more than 100,000 certified habitats, do they really need more money?? I'd advise them to skip these sponsors.
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