2009 - Volume #33, Issue #5, Page #02[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
No Mow Grass Requires No Fertilizer
"I started out looking for grass varieties that were native to New England or had adapted to the climate. I gradually narrowed my selection from 100 to five," says Madnick. "I grew hundreds of flats with different mixes of seeds until I hit on the right one that grew superior to others. It has a strain that is resistant to fungi."
Madnick has patented two mixtures, one for sunny areas and one for shade. He credits the 12-in. roots for much of the extreme drought hardiness. The lush grass also features a green color that extends into winter.
"It will grow slowly to around 9 in.," he says. "At that point, it tips over and looks like about a 4-in. high meadow. Or, you can mow it about once a month and keep it at 4 to 5 in. in height."
Madnick says his grass is easy to establish when fall seeded. Simply cut the existing grass as short as possible (1 in. or less) and rake away the clippings. He advises spreading 1/4 in. of compost and seeding into it at a rate of 5 to 8 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. After lightly raking it, the seed should be lightly rolled into the compost.
The only watering ever needed, according to Madnick, is for the first three weeks on any day that it doesn't rain. That should be followed by watering every other day for another two weeks.
He does recommend overseeding in the following seasons to more quickly establish a lush lawn.
The slow growing grass has been endorsed by a number of environmental organizations. They cite the lack of need for water, fertilizer or pest control applications and reduced cutting. They also cite its natural hardiness. "The principle behind it is that it grows so slowly, that it can hang on and thrive when other grass can't," explains Madnick.
Pearl's Premium is currently selling in stores throughout the northeastern U.S. Several environmental organizations are also selling it, and Madnick offers it direct from his website. A 5-lb. bag with shipping and handling and state tax is priced at $42.65. A 25-lb. bag is priced at $180.00, including other costs, and will cover approximately 3,500 sq. ft.
"Pearl's Premium has been planted on more than 2,000 lawns since it was introduced, as far south as Washington, D.C.," says Madnick.
He has provided FARM SHOW with 5-lb. bags of sun and shade mixtures for testing. Plots will be planted this fall and overseeded next spring for a report on the seed in the fall of 2010.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jackson Madnick, 206 Lake Shore Drive, Wayland, Mass. 01778 (ph 508 653-0800; JacksonMadnick@msn.com; www.pearlspremium.com).
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