Attempting to get rid of my endless lawn: An annihilation plan using clover!

May 21 2018
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My grandma Charlotte spent YEARS with nothing but a hatchet and straight up will power to create the 2+ acres of nothing but grass and giant trees that you see here today. One of her favorite things in the whole world was picking up sticks and mowing. One of my least favorite things in the whole world? Picking up sticks and mowing!

WARNING: These pictures were taken less then two days after the last of the snow finally melted so forgive my yard for looking pretty rough – it was a long winter!

I absolutely adore my park-like farm yard that my grandparents’ created in all the years they lived here. However, I am REALLY terrible at endless tasks that don’t seem to really serve much of a purpose… It just doesn’t make me happy and right now I am all about BLISSFULLY HAPPY!

There is a lot more to it then my being lazy though!

Back in my grandparents’ day they were not dealing with traffic or neighbors. Now, I am looking at my neighbors and drowning in traffic dust from the dirt road outside my house. I live out in the absolute sticks and yet, I have been made to feel obligated to mow my ditches. But where am I going to stop? Should I mow the 15 acre hay field beside me too?!

I absolutely refuse to take part in this absolute silliness while supposedly living in the country.

Attempting to get rid of my endless lawn: An annihilation plan using white clover! Maintenance free lawn better for the environment, grassless lawn, grass free yard, mowless yard and lawn. Going eco friendly with a clover lawn. DIY Do it yourself, over seeding in organic native clover!Attempting to get rid of my endless lawn: An annihilation plan using white clover! Maintenance free lawn better for the environment, grassless lawn, grass free yard, mowless yard and lawn. Going eco friendly with a clover lawn. DIY Do it yourself, over seeding in organic native clover!

Funny story: My Grandma’s love of mowing may not have passed to me HOWEVER it did pass to my mom who has described it as “A Sickness” because, every year (somehow) HER YARD JUST KEEPS GETTING BIGGER!

So, this is my plan: I’m going to attempt to create natural boundaries for my lawn to stop at and never mow beyond them again. If I had the budget for a little rock wall that looks a hundred years old to go around my yard, I would totally be doing that! Unfortunately, that is not in this single gal’s budget.

Here are my real problems. Firstly, this is Minnesota and if I don’t mow my lawn I will literally be over run with wood ticks and mosquitoes – very very very bad news. If there are parts of my yard that I am going to abandon (yes that’s happening) then if I EVER plan to walk on them I will need to put down paths of some kind because knee tall grass pretty much means we have ticks and lymes disease even before we get home.

(I’m not exaggerating – my aunt, my dad and my uncle all have/had it and EVERY dog I have ever owned despite buying the most expensive tick stuff that I put between their shoulder blades. When someone says they don’t feel good the majority of folks that live here go to the doctor and have a lymes test done just as normal procedure.)

Secondly, have you ever done a search on Google for “no grass” lawns? They’re all real pretty and very cool and smaller then my basement lol. If I only had to lay pavers and mulch on 200 square feet all of my yard problems would have been history a long time ago! No, I’m dealing with 2 acres!

So, my first order of business was sectioning off my “abandon it” places one spot at a time. I started with this big spot off the east side of my house. However, I have a staircase that goes down to said spot and it seemed real weird to have that go to nothing…

Attempting to get rid of my endless lawn: An annihilation plan using white clover! Maintenance free lawn better for the environment, grassless lawn, grass free yard, mowless yard and lawn. Going eco friendly with a clover lawn. DIY Do it yourself, over seeding in organic native clover!
Attempting to get rid of my endless lawn: An annihilation plan using white clover! Maintenance free lawn better for the environment, grassless lawn, grass free yard, mowless yard and lawn. Going eco friendly with a clover lawn. DIY Do it yourself, over seeding in organic native clover!

So I’ve decided I’m going to create a wood walkway from that set of stairs down to my yard/fire pit area with the walkway stopping at the edge of my deck – creating the edge of where I’m going to stop mowing. This gives me a section between my walkway and my deck now that will be great for future plants and bushes to fill up. (Tutorial on how I laid boards down on the ground and then walked on them coming up soon!)

So that part of my yard had a plan. My next part was this section here that includes a big lilac bush, my little tack shack all the way to my horse pasture and my silo. Overhanging all of these sections are these incredibly cool trees that most folks around here hate because they are also really MESSY. Under these trees is not only their own resulting messiness but also my ex’s attempt at “cleaning this area up” with a bob cat – he failed miserably and made everything WAY worse and here I am STILL dealing with his messes.

(Yes my little shed looks so ROUGH – but I fixed her roof a couple of years ago and I’ve been batting around ideas on what to do with her. Currently I’m using her for storage (which I don’t need and can keep somewhere else) so, this is what I’m considering right now: A she shed!/Screened in little hideaway!)

Attempting to get rid of my endless lawn: An annihilation plan using white clover! Maintenance free lawn better for the environment, grassless lawn, grass free yard, mowless yard and lawn. Going eco friendly with a clover lawn. DIY Do it yourself, over seeding in organic native clover!Attempting to get rid of my endless lawn: An annihilation plan using white clover! Maintenance free lawn better for the environment, grassless lawn, grass free yard, mowless yard and lawn. Going eco friendly with a clover lawn. DIY Do it yourself, over seeding in organic native clover!Attempting to get rid of my endless lawn: An annihilation plan using white clover! Maintenance free lawn better for the environment, grassless lawn, grass free yard, mowless yard and lawn. Going eco friendly with a clover lawn. DIY Do it yourself, over seeding in organic native clover!Attempting to get rid of my endless lawn: An annihilation plan using white clover! Maintenance free lawn better for the environment, grassless lawn, grass free yard, mowless yard and lawn. Going eco friendly with a clover lawn. DIY Do it yourself, over seeding in organic native clover!

I am leaning toward spending some money on adding some kind of fruit trees or flowering trees or just some pretty leaf trees and using them to create what looks like an “orchard” this will fill up the big blank area and give me a natural stopping point with the mower. It will also create a wind break between my home and the horse pasture as that is the north. I’m thinking about running a few of these trees across the front of the barn, in front of the horse fence all the way to my horse shed.

So now we’ve reached the other side of the yard. Fortunately for me this whole area actually doesn’t have a whole lot of grass. Now that my wood shed is now my horses’ shed and I’ve already increased the size of their pasture over here (read about that in my post from last week here) I’m feeling way less stressed about this whole area.

Continuing on to the area behind my garage. This area grows very little grass (lots and lots of big pines) and I am REALLY REALLY thinking about just running the horse pasture over all of that, behind my garage and nearly to the road. I won’t be mowing that area and have no plans for it and I know my horses would love it so…

Attempting to get rid of my endless lawn: An annihilation plan using white clover! Maintenance free lawn better for the environment, grassless lawn, grass free yard, mowless yard and lawn. Going eco friendly with a clover lawn. DIY Do it yourself, over seeding in organic native clover!


Last, but not least, I have the giant farm yard between my house and the barn. I think at this point we’ve all been reading about the utter waste that lawns are to the environment. (Granted I never spray my lawn with chemicals or any kind of fertilizer and I certainly don’t water it! If it dies it dies, I’m cool with that… in fact I kind of encourage it.) However, I would rather create something that HELPS all the bees, butterflies, bunnies and critters that make this the country.

During my research about going “lawn-free” in northern MN I kept running into one great idea.

I’m going to over seed my entire yard with white clover! (Yes the clover most people consider a weed and try to get rid of. If I could plant dandelions for the bumble bees I would do that too!)

White clover is native to my part of Minnesota, it absolutely loves it here and there isn’t a woodland critter that doesn’t also love it! If it totally takes over (*crosses fingers*) It will bloom a ton, smell incredible and offer wonderful habitat! It will also never get much over a few inches tall and BOOM, my mowing issues have been taken care of because I will never have to mow it.

I put in a word to one of my local nurseries and let them know I had about 1/2 an acre to cover. She did some research and got back to me the next day and do you know how much its going to cost me to over seed my ENTIRE yard in clover? $50! Now that makes this girl BLISSFULLY HAPPY!

Attempting to get rid of my endless lawn: An annihilation plan using white clover! Maintenance free lawn better for the environment, grassless lawn, grass free yard, mowless yard and lawn. Going eco friendly with a clover lawn. DIY Do it yourself, over seeding in organic native clover!

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6 Comments

  1. May 21, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    I love this post. It brought back memories of my childhood and made me a little bit homesick for that, but then you made me remember how much I love my little city yard sometimes! I grew up on the farm in Idaho that my grandparents homesteaded. I never knew where the yard ended. A few times my brothers put up a temporary fence and let the calves graze in part of it. Like you, I did not love mowing all of that acreage. My brother lives there now and he made part of the “yard” into a sand volleyball court (it is actually a little bit more like a clay volleyball court in Idaho), but at least he doesn’t have to mow it. Good luck with your clover. I actually didn’t know how much people try to get rid of clover until I moved to the city. I didn’t know that much about how messy some trees can be either. We had a whole farm for our cottonwood trees to blow cotton all over. It is definitely a different mentality in my small city yard.

    • May 22, 2018 at 8:56 am

      Hi Amy! It is SUCH a different mentality in the city compared to out in the country. I was mentioning replacing my yard with clover and my cousin looked at me and said how they’d been trying to get rid of it in their yard in the city for years! Being a country gal none of it makes sense to me lol – Grass grows, sticks fall, like, why is that such a bad thing? But, on the other hand, if I had only a city yard I think I would love keeping it pretty and nice but out here though it is just such a losing ENORMOUS battle! Thanks for coming by and commenting!

  2. May 23, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    I had a farm on 16 acres that was majority fenced for the horses but I still ended up with hours of mowing a week. I was a big believer in “fence whatever you can.”
    I had a neighbor who loved to mow because it was alone time away from her kids.
    I’d love to take all the grass out of my suburban lawn but I’m married to a grass lover. He overseeds it religiously to get it lush. Clover sounds much better to me.

    • May 23, 2018 at 1:16 pm

      Truly a lush grass lawn is really a beautiful thing and just wonderful to walk bare foot on. Its just not feasible for me in many ways out here with my big yard though I do understand why folks love them so much! I am really looking forward to an entire yard of clover though, I just can’t wait to see all those blossoms in a few years and all my bunnies and critters are just gonna love it!

  3. May 27, 2018 at 10:45 am

    My friend weeds her acreage with sheep and a moveable fence. Pretty nice considering the sheep not only keep the lawn mown, they also fertilize it. Not sure about ticks and sheep, though. That may be a bit of a bother.

    • May 27, 2018 at 11:46 am

      That’s awesome! I was thinking about that with my horses lol

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Iris Nacole

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