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Homeowner battles invasive plants while struggling to please stringent HOA: 'I personally think lawns are a giant waste of time and money'

"Native species are always better than ornamental grass."

“Native species are always better than ornamental grass."

Photo Credit: iStock

A homeowner took to the r/NativePlantGardening thread on Reddit to ask for advice on how to maintain a native lawn that still follows HOA guidelines. 

"I currently have a freedom lawn but it's full of invasive Japanese Mazus, chusan palm, Japanese clover, chamberbitter, and chickweed," wrote the Redditor. "I've also welcomed some native volunteer blue eyed grass, self heal, and fleabane but it's clear that these are the minority species."

Growing a lawn that supports the local ecosystem can be a challenge when you live with strict HOA guidelines. 

"Is it worth killing off my freedom lawn to destroy the invasive species?" asked the homeowner.

Invasive species are a threat to biodiversity. They compete with local organisms for resources, which can result in the extinction of native animal and plant species. Treating invasive species is not only vital for the sake of your personal lawn but also for your entire local ecosystem. 

Redditors offered advice on how to navigate HOA rules while preserving native species in lawn spaces.

"I would work on killing off the lawn in parts and expanding the garden. Do it in manageable sections and it would also be useful to read up on what your HOAs rules are," suggested one user. "There are a lot of resources online about making your native plant garden more palatable to neighbors."

"Native species are always better than ornamental grass," wrote another user.

Growing a native-plant lawn saves you time and money. Compared to traditional grass lawns, native-plant lawns require less maintenance and water, decreasing your overall water bill. 

Allowing native plants to grow in your yard also helps support a healthier ecosystem, as local species attract pollinators, such as bees, birds, and butterflies, which promote the growth of your garden.

Some low-maintenance and environmentally-friendly lawn replacements include clover, buffalo grass, and xeriscaping. Even replacing a portion of your lawn with native species can have a significant impact on the environment.

Redditors agreed that traditional grass lawns provide no environmental benefit and encouraged the homeowner to keep the native plants while following the HOA guidelines.

"Manicured lawns, man. Ecological wasteland," wrote one user.

"I personally think lawns are a giant waste of time and money," said the homeowner.

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