Choosing a grass

jeanerz13(6a)July 5, 2014

I need to re-seed my front lawn -- it's definitely overdue. Right now, it's mostly clover. I wouldn't mind this, except that it's just dirt in early spring which looks terrible. I wouldn't mind brown dormant grass, but bare dirt is just embarrassing.

Anyway, I'd like something slow and low growing -- I'd like to keep it around 4 inches. Ideally, I'd like to find something that doesn't require mowing every 7-10 days, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.

I don't water my lawn -- ever. I've read that I'll have to water daily for the first month to establish new grass, but in general I won't water my lawn.

I think most of the area that needs to be re-seeded is in the sun. If I like how it turns out in the front and it's pretty low maintenance, I may choose to gradually convert the back as well, which is probably 50% shaded because of 2 large pin oaks and a wooded area at the back. So, something that would work in either is probably best.

I live in zone 6a (Missouri).

I'd personally like to try some interesting ground covers that stay low, but I'm afraid the HOA would have a fit about that. So, I figure I should stick to normal looking grass.

So, what are my best options? I was thinking zoysia, but I read somewhere that is usually started by plugs -- not seed. I don't really understand what that means, but the comment where I read it said plugs are expensive. I don't want to break the bank on grass... I suppose "expensive" is a relative term though...

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Any turf grass, including zoysia, will need water once a week in the summer heat. Your only alternative(s) for full sun will be prairie grasses like wheatgrass and blue grama. If you mow those monthly they should not go to seed. The tall seed stems are what make grasses look shaggy, but the wheat grasses don't grow them very fast. Here is a picture of a mixed wheatgrass and blue grama with a touch of strawberry clover.

Another alternative is buffalo grass. There is one variety, Turffalo, which grows the seed stems at the same speed as the grass itself. Thus as it grows it does not look shaggy like every other variety does. The seed and flower tips are brownish, though, so it's not like they are completely invisible. Turffalo also grows much more dense than the seeded varieties. Here is a picture of Turffalo.

In that picture you can see how the Turffalo is trying to expand over the sidewalk. Other prairie grasses usually remain in place, but not this one.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 7:34PM
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I know they say that lawns need to have water once a week but the only water my lawn has ever had is rain and it's done well enough for me. I'm not too picky about that.

I think the reason the front yard is messed up is from some landscaping problems years ago. There was this huge bush blocking the front window and the whole foundation area extended into the yard some... and there was kind of ditch that ran from that to the sidewalk in front of the house...Well, my now ex-husband and I ripped out the bush (or bushes? it was just big mess of nastiness there) and made a flower bed (which didn't go as far as the previously mulched area). We also tried to level out that ditch's the big mistake...we got this thing (from wal-mart I think) which was a seed mat basically... not sod...but this thing you unroll and it has seeds in it... I don't think we did that thing properly... Anywhere we had tried to use that to get new grass started never really got filled I think the weeds took hold...I'm just finally wanting to get something in the front again. Maybe I should just find out what type of grass I have (in the non clover areas) and get more of that since it does fine without any special attention...but I was hoping to find something a little slower growing.

Maybe tomorrow I'll post a picture of what grass I currently have in the back yard.

Anyway, the main thing I was looking for was a tough, preferably slow growing grass that would be hardy in my area.

Of the pictures above, I prefer the wheatgrass...but maybe that's just because it doesn't show the seeds in the picture.

Something like in the link below would be great, but sounds too good to be true...

Here is a link that might be useful: Pearl's Premium

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 11:11PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

I don't see anything in that grass mix that would allow it to go without water.

Filling in the ditch was probably a mistake. That was there for a reason.

I agree about the seeds on the buffalo. Plus I'm allergic to buffalo grass, so I'm not getting it anytime soon.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 12:16AM
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