Edible Lawns

Ha… no dice.

I grow way way more than i can eat and i give him all kinds of stuff to eat. I have several neighbors that i do trading with. Some grow onions or potatoes or have chickens. I wish it was better than it is but we are trying little by little to do better.

Where he lives i knew that neighbor when i was little. He had THE nicest garden that i have ever seen. Decades of tending and putting on food scraps and compost. Manure spread yearly from horses and chickens. It is the nicest ground that you can imagine. My neighbor parks his cars on that lot now. I have told him the stories but he doesnt care. He has a greenhouse…on a lot where nothing has ever grown. It is fallow now and lying in ruin. He plans on dumping manure and fertilizer to try it again this year.

Him and his wife have 5 kids. They grow roses mostly.

To each his own… nothing wrong with my way or his… its how we co-exist i guess. He likely thinks im crazy.


I have one of those unpowered reel mowers, which serves as a perfect limiter on lawn for me. I figure the amount of lawn I am willing to mow with one of those is about the right amount of lawn for the family.


creeping thyme and creeping charlie smell nice. both have covered a section of my lawn. creeping charlie doesnt play well as its in the mint family. its in probably 1/3rd of the grass i have left. ive learned to live with it and control it. the bees love both of them. ive heard sweet aslyium and sweet woodruff are others that work well. google high traffic ground covers and a bunch of stuff will come up.


Using Thyme - Fruit in the Kitchen - Growing Fruit

Mother of thyme for sure.

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I hate the lawn. I turned about 3 acres of it into wildflower meadow. I am thinking of turning my front lawn into a meadow too. It is nice that I have about 40 fruit trees or so, but mowing the lawn under them is not fun. Maybe I will spray it all with roundup and convert to clover or something. I am a little ways out of town, but probably not far enough into the country that I could keep sheep or goats. I wish I had them to eat the lawn. I still mow about 1.5 acres and it takes an hour and a half even though I have a 60" Deere Z750a commercial mower. Did I mention I hate mowing the lawn?

As long as your trees aren’t too little you can use geese to mow instead of sheep.


I can second this one, though there are a wide range of different types of thyme that get that label, so maybe try a few different ones. When I was seeding my stone patio, I got three different sources of seed for creeping thyme, and also two types of cutting-grown “elfin thyme” from a local nursery.

Two of the types of creeping thyme seedlings were more bushy than I was expecting, up to 8" if not trimmed back regularly. The two elfin thymes are my favorite, barely an inch tall! I’m going to start collecting their seed and taking cuttings to spread them to other areas of my yard. They are slow growing, but seem fine with being walked over and smell great. They even have very pretty little flowers… these are the two elfin thymes:

By comparison, this is what the creeping thyme looks like if you don’t cut it back:


there are shade tolerant wildflower mixes out there. seen some at TSC the other day. used some in my partially shaded ditch a few years ago.

Forgot to include chamomile in my original post.

There’s also Corsican mint. Marginally hardy here, but very small growing.


i have chamomile under one of my apple trees. yarrow is growing all though my wildflower patches.

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I had been thinking about a white clover lawn (technically edible, but it’s really starvation food), because I hate grass and like clover flowers, but I’ve read that clover attracts voles (naturally an issue for an apple grower such as myself). Anyone have any input on this?

Mine too, my wife is my biggest obstacle. She is more a book worm than a garden worm. Her argument is to keep the open space for the kids. I told her look out once the kids move out. We will just send the grandkids home someday with lots of produce.

I know to only bring home new plants and trees while she is at work. Then I hide them a while. She might win the battles but I will win the war.


There is value to having open spaces, but they don’t have to be grass to be functional.


Incremental encroachment…divide and conquer? There are several ways;)

Can you share some pictures of your orchard areas?

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I am on year two and three of converting the front and back and side yards. So the only thing worth taking pictures of would be the blackberries and raspberries. The trees are all fairly small in those areas.

In the front yard there is about 30 fruit trees, 30 elderberry, 5 haskaps, 10 blackberry, 10 red rasp, and 30 black raspberry plants.

Backyard- around 40 varieties of blackberries.

Side yard 1- 10 fruit trees and 20 black rasp plants.

Side yard 2- 4 raised garlic beds, 10 blackberry plants.

Fields in front of house- both are fenced in. 1 is just for habitat and my gazing area. It has every wildflower and plant that i could get my hands on. Probably another 50 elderberries there as well. No idea how that is going to play out. The other is my private blackberry and raspberry haven. The rarest and hardest to find cultivars are in there. Also a nice strawberry bed in that patch.

5 years ago i mowed every inch of all of those areas with a riding mower, a push mower and weedeaters.

I also have 4 more fields and 3 banks that i have sewed in local native wildflowers and various other bird and pollinator friendly things.

I lost about a year in the beginning not thinking about the need for fences… The deer wiped out most everything that i attempted on year 1.

Step 1 for me should have been fencing…not step 10.

This should be the biggest boom year for pollinators and birds and predatory insects that i will need going forward… All of those years of mowing hindered their populations.

I have only left myself with poor ground for growing corn… i used the good ground for my fruiting things. So i will have to put some work into making the ground better for my corn crops.

Tomatoes- Im going to grow them in 5 gal buckets this year… My first year of doing it that way… hoping it makes things easier than last year.

Hoping my 1000 words suffices for a picture… its all hopes and dreams at the moment.


Amazing what you have done!


Clover has been discussed quite a bit on the forum, so this is likely repeat information…
I like white clover in spots of my yard where I have difficult keeping grass growing. It fills in nicely, doesn’t get too tall, has a nice dark green color and of course pretty white flowers. The bees love it, which is both a positive and a negative. It blooms at the same time I need to apply insecticide on some of my fruit trees. It is almost always windy here, so to spray without any drift is nearly impossible. I try to spray in the early evenings vs morning or afternoon to avoid harming the bees. I wouldn’t recommend planting it near fruit trees if you spray insecticides just to avoid the hassle and also to protect the pollinators.

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The only pause that clover gives me is how much deer like it. Would it be bringing them into my orchard more often? I actually bought some seed but now I’m rethinking.

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I think i have less money in the whole operation than the cost of a riding mower, a push mower and a weedeater.

Its strange to think that as a kid my dad made me dig up all the dandelions that i found…that was a chore of mine. Now i look forward to them.

I may put this sign up at the end of my road…