One gardener discovered that satisfying her homeowners association may be easier than it seems.
In the subreddit r/Permaculture, a Redditor sought suggestions for an HOA-compliant lawn alternative that would replace the St. Augustine grass in their front yard “with something native and useful to the ecosystem.”
“It needs to be something that looks like grass and isn’t invasive to other people’s lawns or we’ll get fined,” she wrote, adding that she didn’t want to mow or irrigate more than once per week.
The replies were overwhelmingly creative and detailed, with one lawn care expert recommending clover as a way to “multi-species up that lawn.”
Wildflowers and sunflowers were among the other plants suggested by the professional, who noted that the grass itself could be a “useful support plant” as a habitat for ants as well as create a cooling microclimate.
In addition to providing food for vital pollinators such as bees, clover is able to thrive without the use of toxic herbicides or frequent mowing. And even though ants have a reputation as picnic spoilers, they play a key role in the health of soil, seed dispersal, and pest control.
It is not unheard of for HOAs to put holds on an array of eco-friendly home updates, however.
Some have hindered the transition to clean energy by denying requests to install money-saving solar panels, while others have asked people to remove native plants, which soak up planet-warming pollution.
A number of homeowners have happily earned the support of their HOAs to change laws holding them back, but it appears the OP is planning to work within regulations.
“The key is to choose a clover variety that is suited to your space,” the lawn care professional added. “… That’ll give the illusion of a manicured turf to keep the HOA happy, but with less maintenance requirements to keep it low.”
“You’ve inspired me so much, thank you!” the OP said.
Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.