How can we ask not what greenspaces can do for us but what greenspaces can do for the environment? Portland-based Pro Time Lawn Seed was one of the first businesses to tackle this question, with the founder of the company developing low-maintenance and low-input lawn seed mixes, and the new owners expanding the mission to promote pollinator habitat, species diversity and soil health. PolliNation wanted to learn more, so in this episode, I visit an eco-lawn in a Portland backyard with Pro Time owner Amy Cox (on the left, also in the picture are co-owners Josh Middleton and Dawn Griffin). We look over a lawn seeded with Fleur de Lawn, a mix developed in conjunction with Dr. Tom Cook at Oregon State University, who began working on lawn alternatives in 1985. We talk about the benefits of using eco-lawns, how they work, and to establish them, and then walk across the lawns looking for bees. Pro Time has seventeen new eco-lawn, meadow, wildflower and native seed mixes in their selection.
Listen in to learn more about eco-lawns, what brought Amy into this business, and what makes eco-lawns ideal for all different kinds of home owners.
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“I think I’ve always wanted to something that helped other people, and that’s turned into something that can not only help people, but animals, insects, and the environment.” – Amy Cox
- How Amy got into the eco-lawn business
- What still inspires Amy about this business
- The benefits of having and keeping an eco-lawn
- How easy it is to maintain an eco-lawn
- What makes eco-lawns easier to maintain than regular lawns
- The different types of eco-lawns and where they are best suited
- Why Pro Time Lawn Seed began working on the eco-lawn
- Why the Pacific Northwest is the ideal place for this kind of business to thrive
- How Pro Time Lawn Seed bridges the gap between them and science and education
- What separates Amy’s company from others in the seed business
- What is in Pro Time Lawn Seed’s seed mixes
“Probably all that’s required [in maintaining an eco-lawn] is a little bit of patience, maybe following a bit of instruction, but it’s not difficult.” – Amy Cox
- Learn more about Pro Time Lawn Seed
- Check out their eco-lawn, Fleur de Lawn
- Find out more about the paper mentioned in this episode, Low maintenance alternatives to conventional grass lawns: ecolawns revisited (Tom Cook, Oregon State University)
- Connect with Amy Cox at her website