An English Bulb Meadow

Travis O
Thu, 06 Aug 2015 20:23:32 PDT
Jane McGary mentioned the less than pleasant appearance of bulbs in turf around June. This is accurate, maybe accentuated, where I live in southwestern Oregon which gets about three months of dry heat (in the 100's F recently.) The "lawn" goes completely brown (except for weeds: rough cats paw, prickly lettuce) because we have no sprinklers. It's too dry for dandelion this time of year.

Where there is irrigation, Prunella vulgaris works very well. In decent soil, it flowers Spring to Autumn, and prevents growth of weeds due to its spreading habit. I was happy to see it mentioned in Robins' article about the untended lawn. Grown in good soil it spreads well and divides easily, also good from cuttings. The best weed control is other plants.

Another one, if you have the space, is crimson clover (not confused with red clover). It is a self seeding annual used as a cover crop and livestock fodder. Pretty red flowers. It spreads out a bit by seed, so not good for a small garden/lawn. Grows to roughly one foot. It cohabitates well with poppies (CA and true, good clover companions), if irrigated flowers nearly all season.

Travis Owen
Rogue River, OR

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