Want less lawn work? Start with the seeds.

Low-mow lawn from Eco-Lawn seed, Wildflower Farm.

If you are a lawn owner, perhaps you’ve wondered if there’s a way reduce the commitment and still have healthy grass. According to some in the turf industry, there is—and it starts with the seeds.

We’re not talking here about a conventional lawn gone feral, nor the patchy grass that some call “freedom lawns” or “organic by neglect.” These seed mixes bear labels such as “low-mow,” “low-work-and-water,” or “drought-tolerant.” What do we need to know in order to shop wisely for these low-input lawn seeds?

Understanding seed descriptions . . .

Seed descriptions

They're so small, but not so simple. Seeds seem as though they should be easy to buy, but there is actually a lot to know. Open-pollinated, heirloom, hybrid F1 and hybrid F2? Treated and untreated seeds? Non-GE and non-GMO seeds? Conventional, ecologically grown, or organic?

If it seems confusing, I hope my recent article, "The art of picking seeds,"  in The Day community papers and helps you find your perfect selections for the 2014 growing season.

If you have trouble with the link, please download the article below. 

The rich history of Connecticut seed companies

Antique seed consignment box.

They look so innocent and inviting, those little seed packets on retail counters this month. Little did I realize what a long and complex history Connecticut seed companies have had. This article was a lot of fun to write--and there's more. For example,  Comstock Ferre in Wethersfield is believed to be the first to put color illustrations on seed packets, which they called "papers" in the early days. A second installment on Connecticut seeds will be in my "Green & Growing" column in a couple of weeks.  

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