Poll: What should we do with our lawn?September 17, 2008
Update, July 2010: What we (finally!) did with our lawn
Okay, so as we inch closer to the rainy season, one of my big projects is to rototill all of our dead grass and get the yard ready so we can plant something drought-tolerant as soon as the rains start. (We do have a traditional sprinkler system that we’ll use to water it while it’s getting established, but after that I want something that can fly on its own.) We have a big labradane, so the second requirement is that we choose a groundcover that can survive being trampled. D.’s request is to please please please pick one that doesn’t need to be mowed. It doesn’t necessarily need to look pretty in all seasons, as long as it doesn’t keel over (so summer-dormant is fine by us). Natives are great if we can find a good mix that meets these goals.
So far, here are the top contenders, in no particular order:
1) California meadow sedge (Carex pansa)
Supposedly this one is summer-dormant, but it is a less traditional groundcover and thus won’t look like a lawn per se. Big downside is it must be grown from plugs (small plants), not seed or sod.
2) “No-Mow” grass mix
This is a local nursery’s recommendation. It’s a mix of fescue grasses that is apparently drought-tolerant and no-mow. A big plus is that it comes as sod and is from a California company.
3) Fleur de Lawn, a low-mow flowering mix. It’s pretty but still needs monthly mowing. This comes as seed so it’s likely the cheapest.
Other contenders include chamomile lawn (but may not be appropriate to Northern California) and other fescue blends. Other ideas? Part of the yard gets full sun, and part gets shade for much of the day (but the bermuda grass was growing there quite happily). What do you think—which looks best?