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Resilient Yard (Alternative Turf) Workshop for Contractors

Post Date:09/12/2017 2:55 PM

Increasing numbers of property owners are looking to replace their lawn with something that is beautiful, ecologically friendly, and lower maintenance. Kentucky bluegrass – the grass that comprises most of our Minnesota lawns – has its place; it provides a hardy green surface (or turf) to play or lounge on, and its dense network of shallow roots controls erosion. But it also has its drawbacks. Healthy turf grass requires frequent mowing, a hefty dose of chemicals, and often substantial irrigation to stay green through the summer. It also does a poor job of filtering dirty rainwater runoff—contributing to pollution in our lakes and rivers. Lastly, it offers no food source or shelter to the beneficial insects that pollinate our gardens and control pests. With so much of our urban and suburban environment covered by impermeable surfaces, what we plant in the remaining patches of soil has far-reaching consequences for water and habitat quality.

Installing Turf Alternatives - your guide to a low maintenance lawn, a workshop presented by Metro Blooms in partnership with Blue Thumb - Planting for Clean Water® covers the advantages of using perennial ground covers to maximize ecological impact. It also demonstrates handy how-tos for replacing traditional turf by installing and maintaining two popular types of turf alternatives: Low Maintenance Lawns and Bee Lawns. These alternative turf options are recommended for their hardiness, ecological benefits, low-growing nature and ease of maintenance. Techniques covered include over-seeding a traditional lawn, building from the bottom up, and common maintenance issues.

A low maintenance lawn functions like a typical lawn but is made up of fescues that require less water and less fertilizer, pesticides, and mowing than Kentucky bluegrass. “Bee Lawns” are made of a mix of grasses and low-growing perennials that can be used and treated much like a regular lawn, but also offer high-quality nutrition to pollinators, something that is becoming increasingly important to many gardeners and homeowners.

Workshop Date:

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

6:30 – 8:30 pm

Saint Mary’s University – Cascade Meadow
2100 19th Street NW, Rochester, MN 55901

Target Audience:

This workshop is geared for landscaping contractors. Property owners interested in converting their yards to a turf-alternative are welcome to attend.

To Register:

Register now for this free workshop. Space is limited and these workshops can fill up fast. Workshop is for contractors, but property owners are welcome to attend. Register by emailing or calling 651-699-2426.

Event Sponsors:

The Blue Thumb Contractor Training is offered in partnership with Metro Blooms and the cities of Rochester, Faribault, and Owatonna, the Zumbro Watershed Partnership, and Saint Mary’s University – Cascade Meadow

- Megan Moeller, Public Works Communications Coordinator (507-328-2436 or email)
- Becky Rice, Executive Director, Metro Blooms (612-865-0248 or

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