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Being asked to mow down my wildflowers

12 years ago

Hi y'all, I was hoping you might have some ideas for me on what to do with this situation.

What I was afraid would happen finally happened. I got a marshal visit me today giving me a notice that I have to mow down my "tall grass and weeds" within 7 days or get cited.

I was trying to encourage some native plants to grow in my yard. I just moved into this house last summer, and last fall had a lot of scarlet sage (Salvia coccinea) growing in the front yard, which we let go to seed and die before we mowed it down. The hummingbirds and butterflies loved it. Nobody complained, but I think it was because it bloomed shortly after we moved in, and it was very pretty.

This year we got a pretty good patch of it growing back. I have been trying to mow around it, hoping that would keep the people happy (so they can see that it's not that I'm not mowing at all, but I'm avoiding mowing a certain spot ON PURPOSE), but I guess that didn't work.

I'll admit the unmowed patch doesn't look that pretty right now because the sage isn't blooming yet, and there is a bit of grass growing up among it which is putting out flower heads. We've got rescuegrass and a few native species growing, and I would like to let the native grasses go to seed, but I know most people don't think tall grasses are pretty.

So now I'm trying to think if there's anything I can do to save my Salvia. Perhaps mowing it would not be so bad? Do you think if I mowed it, it would grow back well enough to still bloom later? Honestly, I don't know much about mowing's effects on wildflowers. I just assumed mowing them would be bad. Maybe it could survive some sort of minimum amount of mowing, but I don't know what that is.

Another idea I had is to try weed-eating around the Salvia and maybe take out some more of that grass than I can't get to with the mower. Maybe it's the blooming grasses mixed in there that are bothering people. Or maybe that won't be any better than what I've been doing with the lawn mower.

Or, I could just give up completely on having wildflowers in my front yard at all and just keep it neatly mowed like a normal person! :-/

(Also I'm a little miffed that some of my neighbors are getting away with having yards full of bluebonnets. I guess it helps that they bloom in the spring, before the grass has had a chance to really start growing. There's also that myth that it's illegal to cut down bluebonnets because they're the state flower. Lucky for bluebonnets, but no other native wildflowers get love?)

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