Convert the Turf
What are the benefits?
Turf grass requires frequent mowing and fertilization. It also may require irrigation and the application of pesticides. Soils underneath the turf grass may be compacted, generating more runoff into the streets.
Native plants and grasses have deep root systems, creating open space in the soil below, allowing rainfall to percolate deep into the ground. Natives adapted to Iowa’s climate and tolerant of weather extremes.
Urban Prairie Strips are strips of native plants placed downslope in a yard. They capture rainfall runoff from turf grass and downspouts, enhancing the landscape’s ability to infiltrate and soak up stormwater.
They create diverse habitats that attract pollinators such as butterflies and bees. Most importantly, once established, they do not require fertilizer, pesticides, and supplemental water to survive.
After Establishment, native landscaping may be less expensive to maintain than mowed turf grass areas. Maintenance consists of weeding, pruning, and sometimes replanting.
What can you do?
Convert a section of your lawn to native flowers and grasses! It’s a simple DIY project that does not require special skills or knowledge. The next page has detailed steps on how to plant an urban prairie strip in your yard.