I'm getting tired of watering my lawn constantly, trying to keep
it half ass green in the heat and drought conditions we've been having
for the past three years or so. I was wonder what plant I could use as a
ground cover other than grass that looks good, is low growing, needs
little care, takes a bit of punishment (light foot traffic), and comes
back year after year. Living in zone 6b in beautiful Southwestern Ontario!
How about a different grass? You might consider buffalo grass, Buchloe
dactyloides. It'll grow well in Ontario, though it's not a native species,
prefers medium to dry soil. Also requires little mowing. The main hitch
for most people is that it's a warm season grass, which means it looks
kinda ratty in cooler temperatures. The other hitch is that it's sensitive
to a number of the broadleaf weed herbicides, especially when first planted
or if temps are over about 90oF, so if you're enamoured of
the fertilizer+herbicide solution proposed for most lawns, this might not
be for you. Oh yes, it really doesn't need much fertilizer, and it
doesn't really enjoy sandy soil.
And did I mention that you can get away without mowing it in informal lawns?
I believe it's being used on some roadsides in Ontario, specifically those
that get salted in the winter, so a call to the local transportation department
would probably give you some "lawns" to inspect.
as mulch, rather than removing them?
How big is your lawn area? If you happen to have "tender" grass,
would it be economically feasible to replace it with a tough,
Just my .02 from beautiful (and dry) Southern California. Watching
my water bill go up, up, up, not from lawn but from plantings <sigh>.
Yes, The mower is set at the highest level and yes, I do mulch
everything back into the grass. I was prefering to stay completely away
from grass itself, and low and behold, if my local newspaper didn't have
an article on 'chintz thyme' as a ground cover. They mention a few
others also. Thanks to all for the replies.
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