Photo courtesy of UC Verde Buffalo Grass
I’ve just started another chapter in my on-going quest to find lawn alternatives that look good, can handle foot traffic and are more environmentally sound than the fescue lawns that plaster California. Remember my chamomile lawn that last year morphed into a Carex pansa lawn? Well guess what? It’s now home to 128 rapidly expanding UC Verde grass plugs.
When Tom Engelman from the GrassRoots Program, a non-profit website that promotes environmentally friendly lawn alternatives in California recently called me about UC Verde grass, I immediately volunteered my little front yard garden as a test spot. Florasource, the distributor for the grass, kindly provided me with a flat of plugs, and I got busy planting.
Some quick facts:
- UC Verde (Buchloe Dactyloides) is a bunch grass developed by the University of California.
- It spreads via stolons, forming clumps that ultimately grow into a lawn.
- It requires 50 to 70% less water than traditional fescue lawns.
- Left unmowed, it grows into a meadow about 6” high – otherwise, mow every three to six weeks for a lawn effect.
- Low pollen count makes it better for allergy sufferers (my blogger friend VW has drilled the importance of this one into my head!)
I planted the plugs two weeks ago and I cannot believe how quickly they are growing. The stolons (the little side blades that are shooting out) are easily twice the length they were a week ago.