In a time when some lawns are going brown with thirst and others are drowning with too much rain – and some parts of the country are being rewarded for tearing out the grass altogether – what’s a homeowner to do about having a lawn? Perhaps the old habit of filling in all empty space in the landscape with a green lawn has seen its day. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have the lawn you love or retain a green, grassy area for play and relaxation. Demands for better garden solutions are creating a new breed of planting materials. Not only are native plants looking more attractive, but growers are coming up with varieties, hybrids and mixes of plants to come to the rescue. New lawn seed mixtures are at the forefront of the water-wise revolution.
Not only can lawns be useful, but they help the oxygen/carbon balance that reduces air pollution. Yet the availability of clean, healthy potable water is becoming a serious concern everywhere, especially with the increasing demands of the largest human population ever on this planet. Using too much of the water supply for general landscaping is coming under fire. But good news: there are now lawn mixes that will use a fraction of that precious water, look great and even reduce maintenance labor.
Jackson Madnick is offering his specially developed lawn seed product line Pearl’s Premium Ultra Low Maintenance Lawn Seed™ to both commercial and home landscapes to deal with the current demands. The main selling points about this product are that it is very drought-tolerant (needing no irrigation once established in many areas), grows very slowly so it needs mowing once a month or less, requires no chemical fertilizers (making it safe for people and pets alike in a world where we are finding increasing proof that lawn chemicals are a major source of dangerous illnesses including bronchial diseases and cancer), yet soft on bare feet.
Madnick explained how his seed mixtures are uniquely efficient. Roots reach down 12” – 14” to tap lower moisture, stay cool in intense heat and find lower subsurface moisture and nutrients. There are three kinds of mixtures available from Pearl’s Premium: sun, sun/shade and shade. One very impressive point is the fact as a scientist, Madnick had spent close to a decade of experimentation to come up with just the right balance of grass seed mixtures and spent almost a million dollars in thoroughly researching and testing the varieties and exact proportions involved.
An avid advocate for healthy, organic gardening, Madnick worked hard to find a solution to give people a genuinely better lawn. The lawns grown from Pearl’s Premium are consciously water and labor efficient while remaining evergreen year round. A wide mix of seed varieties allows best-suited varieties to dominate, giving the lawn adaptability to different soils and climate conditions. Other lawns are stressed by being cut low, demanding more and more chemical fertilizers, additional water, and toxic pesticides – all being tracked into our homes and washed into our potable water supplies. Pearl’s Premium was developed to break this cycle while still offering the advantages of an attractive, green lawn with less maintenance than competitors.
Although the seed is pricey – for seed – it is a very cost-efficient way to plant a lawn. Madnick recommends over-seeding existing lawns or planting new lawns after aerating soils rather than disturbing the mycorrhizae (a vital fungal network in the topsoil) and the balanced underground micro-community (another mistake we constantly make when gardening) by digging up the area. Seed must not be allowed to dry out when germinating, but once established, becomes very drought-tolerant and adaptable to extremes of weather.
Seed is the least costly way to plant any lawn but Madnick mentioned that Pearl’s Premium will soon be available in sod for people who prefer this method.
If you would like to try out your own seed, it is available on Amazon.com, Sears, Home Depot, Whole Foods Markets and a number of other locations at the time of this writing, or check the Pearl’s Premium website for the store finder nearest you.