Among the vendors and children's activities at the SOBO (South of Boston) Moms yard sale Saturday at the First Congregation Church, was a mini van and camper with decals for Pearl's Premium grass seed. Throughout the day, the operator of that vehicle and developer of the product, Jackson Madnick, gave workshops and answered questions about the new grass seed.
The founder of the slow-growing, low-maintenance grass blend has spent the last year visiting 10 states, giving free seminars and educating people about lawns. Madnick, who lives in Wayland, MA, was invited to Milton by Family Fun Fest organizer, Wendy Garpow. The two met while Garpow worked at Greenscapes.
Madnick used several workshops to teach people how to make their existing lawns more sustainable. "This time of year; don't cut your lawn," Madnick offered as the first tip.
He also explained that people should never cut their lawn shorter than three inches. Madnick said that when people cut the grass they should leave the clippings there.
Besides giving helpful tips during the time of year when most people's lawns take on a brown hue over the preferred lush green, Madnick talked to people about his product. He even discovered that at least one Milton resident has a Pearl's Premium lawn.
Madnick's seed blend grows slowly, requiring only monthly mowing, and it also grows deep roots that require little water and no fertilizer, keeping the desired green color during dry months. Pearl's Premium, which is named after Madnick's mother and daughter, is designed to save money, water and time.
In the fall of 2000, Madnick and a team of PhD's from three agricultural universities started researching more efficient grass seed. Madnick explained the grass in America was all brought over by Europeans, so the research brought them to indigenous species.
After six years of research, Madnick found a five seed mix that achieved all of his objectives. He followed the research with two years of testing. For the last year he's been on the road selling the seeds.
Madnick has seen a wildly positive response. Several retailers, like Whole Foods, which previous did not sell grass seed, now carry Pearl's Premium. Madnick said the company already has 4,000 lawns.
The most common question Madnick gets at workshops like the one he gave Saturday is how people can go from their current lawn to his product.
Madnick said the process is easy and works best if done in September. "You just cut (your lawn) very short, rake the clippings, spread the seed and water it for one month to get it established," Madnick said.
After the first month, Madnick said, the lawn will never or seldom need to be watered.
For more information about Pearl's Premium, visit www.pearlspremium.com.