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Planting a Natural Lawn Companion

by Gabby Hyman, All About Lawns Columnist

Natural lawn care enthusiasts have discovered that companion herbs often make fine additions to grassy plots. The notion is not new, but seems to be emerging as homeowners look for ways to dress up the appearance of their lawns without struggling with weeds. Yarrow is a perennial plant often seen in gardens, but because of its rhizomatous growth, its distribution pattern can leap out of the bed and into your lawn. Under good management, the herb can make lawns spongy and soft underfoot, while lending ornamental value.

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But the real value of yarrow may be in its ability to hold moisture. Draught tolerant, this herb that flowers in June is said to improve soil chemistry, repel predatory insects, boost composting processes, and attract ladybugs.

Yarrow and Lawn Care

Britain's Royal Horticultural Society reports that yarrow can, unfortunately, take over a lawn if not controlled carefully. However, the society claims, if your lawn is watered and mowed regularly, it should crowd out yarrow and prevent over-establishment.

If you're a natural gardener and herbalist as well, you should appreciate yarrow for its medicinal properties. Its leaves have been used for centuries as a cold remedy. In Sweden, it is used to replace hops where more potent, higher alcohol content is desired in beer making.

Companion planting is a great way to infuse neighboring grasses with beneficial chemicals. Placing onions, garlic, collards, and potatoes in close proximity to your lawn can provide defenses against insect migrations, harmful larvae, and beetle damage. Complementary ground covers and mulch also help in weed control and water retention. Ground covers are especially helpful in areas with heavy shade or hard-packed soils that result in dead patches in the lawn.

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About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys, GoTo.com, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.



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