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  • Writer's pictureJ Knill

From Gravel Pile to Pollinator Lawn

Updated: Apr 13, 2022

I was hired by this client to help transform their neglected yard into a wildlife-friendly outdoor space that would also be useable and help increase the home's resale value. A previous landscape crew had recently installed a paver patio for the client but had left a large pile of rocky dirt behind where the lawn was to be. The client wanted the space to be transformed into a carpet/lawn of short flowers that would benefit the local pollinators and look distinctive.

Site access was restricted by a stairway up to a narrow gate with no possibility of using machinery or even wheelbarrows/ramps. What would typically be a matter of disposing of the old dirt and trucking in new soil was now more complicated.

My plan of action was to meticulously screen the rocky dirt, haul out the rocks with 5-gallon buckets, add organic amendments to make healthy soil, grade, and seed the pollinator mix.

Above you can see that I have screened the soil. At this point I also added-in cottonseed meal and kelp meal to help jumpstart the soil biology.

Ready for seed! Since it was mid-summer, we held off on seeding until it got cooler out with more consistent precipitation. And wow, what a transformation.

A landscape that benefits both the client and the local wildlife, what's better?

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