short grass?

Hi, Does anyone know of a grass variety that is short enough so that it never needs to be cut? You would think with all the plants that have been bred in miniature someone would have come up with "mini-grass". :-) But, seriously, is there such a thing. I absolutely hate mowing the lawn and really can't afford to pay someone to do it for me. TIA, Kate
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Kate Connally
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Kate Connally wrote:

Yeah. It's called Astroturf.
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Dwarf mondo grass.
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Celestial Habitats by J. Kolenovsky
2003 Honorable Mention Award, Keep Houston Beautiful
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J Kolenovsky wrote:

I looked it up and it seems like it would work. I just have a question about light vs. shade. All the sites I looked at said this grass needs shade of light shade or partial shade. What I want to know is what is partial shade. My front and back lawns only get direct sun for part of the day. The front lawn only in the morning for the most part. By partial shade do they mean shade for part of the day or do they mean always shaded but with some sunlight filtering through the trees so that the area is only dappled with sunlight?
Thanks, Kate
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Kate Connally
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If you're in the right area, and have a lawn that's not in shade for more than half a day, look at buffalo grass, Buchloe dactyloides. Needs mowing a couple of times a year. http://www.mohnseed.com/lawn.htm
Red fescue, Festuca rubra, unmown, makes 8-12"; Pennsylvania sedge, Carex pensylvanica, is suitable for dryish to slightly moist areas and grows to about 6". http://www.fescue.com/info/creepingred.html http://www.northcreeknurseries.com/Plants/Carex%20pensylvanica.htm
Liriope spicata and Ophiopogon japonicus are other possibilities, but won't tolerate foot traffic.
http://www.hcs.ohio-state.edu/images/cd0637/jpeg/cd0637-69.jpeg
http://stephenville.tamu.edu/%7Enroe/landscape/lm8.jpg
And there are lots of other possibilities, depending on your site, climate, laws, and pocketbook. Even lily of the valley looks good as a pseudo-lawn with the right landscaping and no foot traffic.
Check with local laws and neighborhood associations; other people may have fits if the lawn isn't sheared.
Weeds are probably going to be more evident in an unmown lawn. It's not that you'll have more, it's that they'll be more noticeable, so careful site preparation and weed control until the new lawn is well established will be important.
Kay Lancaster snipped-for-privacy@fern.com
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Kay Lancaster wrote:

That's a couple of times a year too many. I'm looking for zero times a year. :-)

We have 10" maximum height ordinance so that one's out.

That might work.

Basically no foot traffic. I live alone and don't really got out in the yard much if ever. As it is now I only walk on it when I have to mow it. ;-)

Hey, I wonder if that would work. I absolutely love Lily of the Valley. Okay, I'm in Pittsburgh, PA which is about zone 5-6. My front yard is a postage stamp. The back yard is about twice as big. The front yard definitely gets no traffic as it's small and I have a large front porch with a glider. I could put almost anything in front.
In the back I might have to walk on it from time to time if I want to plant flowers or veggies, but it would be minimal - not like kids and dogs running on it all day, etc.

Thanks, Kate
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Just be aware, a bit further south of you in PA, my lily of the valley goes dormant about mid-summer, especially in a dry year. Doesn't mean you can't put in some patches of it, but I wouldn't count on it as a lawn substitute.
There are other ground covers that would work. Vinca is almost evergreen for me, needs no attention once established, and has pleasant blue flowers this time of year. You could interplant it with blue hyacinths for an especially nice spring show.
You would need to mulch it and pay attention to watering for the first year, possibly two, but once it fills in there's not much maintenance.
Cheers, Sue
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I prefer long grass that never needs to be cut: Red fescue - Festuca rubrai, I believe. Looks like a green animal's hair. Magical to me. ~cf
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On 04/16/2004 01:27 PM, Kate Connally said:

I haven't tried this myself, but Prairie Nursery has something called a no-mow lawn mix:
http://www.prairienursery.com/catalog/cat_nomow.asp
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Joe
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