Looking for a Grass Alternative? Try a Peanut Lawn
Still in Florida with my family, I can admit to my blog followers that my mind never completely shuts off from this lawn crusade. When I took my 8-month-old daughter for a walk yesterday in an old neighborhood in St. Petersburg, I was fascinated by a lawn with bright orange-yellow blooms. The homeowner, perched out front for what he said was his once-a-year hand weeding, called his creation a peanut lawn.
He allowed me to snap a few photos and when I got a chance to go on-line today, I learned more about Arachis glabrata, a member of the pea family. Here’s a description from a University of Florida Cooperative Extension agent: http://leon.ifas.ufl.edu/News_Columns/2004/070104.pdf.
In addition to being the most beautiful lawn in my sister-in-law’s Florida neighborhood, it was also one of the most low maintenance. The homeowner says he mows just once a year and never fertilizes, since the plant “fixes” its own nitrogen from the atmosphere.
Here are a couple of great web sites to find other lawn alternatives: www.jeeperscreepersusa.com and www.stepables.com that will help you find other plants suitable for other climates (the ornamental peanut is only hardy to Zone 8). Don’t get me wrong: I’m not trying to be anti-lawn. Grass has its place and purpose in the North American landscape. But you need to know that there are so many more environmentally friendly alternatives.