Meadow Planting

Meadow planting/conservation landscaping is a best management practice (BMP) for stormwater management generally used in a residential/urban landscape. This type of BMP is a conversion of turfgrass lawn to perennial native meadow. Strategically sized, located, and managed this BMP can provide both water quality and habitat benefits.

  1. What are the Benefits of Meadow Planting?
  2. How do Meadows Improve Water Quality?

What are the Benefits of Meadow Planting/Conservation Landscaping?

  1. Less required maintenance:
    1. Once established, meadows are generally mowed once a year, thus contributing less to exhaust emissions, and gas and energy usage than frequent lawn mowing.
    2. Fertilization, herbicide, and pesticide applications are not needed, unlike turfgrass which requires these supplemental nutrients and chemicals to maintain its desirable lush and thick condition.
  2. Increased biodiversity and aesthetics:
    1. Meadows are comprised of a mix of native grasses and wildflowers, creating greater biodiversity of plants and associated wildlife benefits such as cover, forage, and pollinator opportunities.
    2. Various flowering periods of the diverse meadow plant species support a greater diversity of birds and pollinators throughout the year.
    3. Diverse plant types both in size, texture, and color provide for an aesthetic quality not achievable from monotypic turfgrass lawns.
  3. Improve water quality:
    1. When strategically located between nutrient and/or pollutant sources such as lawn, downspouts or impervious surfaces and a receiving waterway or swale, meadows can help prevent run-off of nutrients to storm drains and/or waterways by removing up to 39% of nitrogen and 25% of phosphorus.  Case studies associated with lawn conversion can be found at: