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RumpledElf

Lawn alternatives

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We have a new house so it came with one of those horrible deserts of clay out back - it was lovely rich topsoil before they churned it up to put in all the plumbing.

Anyway, we put in a crop of broad beans which have just started flowering so those have been duly hacked down into green manure, and now its back to a desert again.

Was at the hardware store looking for Clonex (one of the kids emptied my bottle ... NOT happy, the stuff is hard to find) and ended up running into all the lawn products, one of which was for 'kidney grass' or Dichondra Repens. Thought it looked familiar, the stuff keeps coming up in my strawberry patch and I've been relocating it into pots because I think it looks cute. So I've decided to plant out the shadiest patch of horrid desert with the stuff and see how it goes.

Its actually a native and is growing in possibly the worst place in the yard already so I don't anticipate any issues with it but I suspect it might be a bit patchy. All I've been doing regarding lawn at the moment is just letting the non-prickly clovers go (and pulling up the prickly ones), and have tossed in some red clover seeds too off ebay. They're not liking the really hard clay much though.

So why not a conventional lawn? Mowing. We're lazy :)

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We have a new house so it came with one of those horrible deserts of clay out back - it was lovely rich topsoil before they churned it up to put in all the plumbing.

Anyway, we put in a crop of broad beans which have just started flowering so those have been duly hacked down into green manure, and now its back to a desert again.

Was at the hardware store looking for Clonex (one of the kids emptied my bottle ... NOT happy, the stuff is hard to find) and ended up running into all the lawn products, one of which was for 'kidney grass' or Dichondra Repens. Thought it looked familiar, the stuff keeps coming up in my strawberry patch and I've been relocating it into pots because I think it looks cute. So I've decided to plant out the shadiest patch of horrid desert with the stuff and see how it goes.

Its actually a native and is growing in possibly the worst place in the yard already so I don't anticipate any issues with it but I suspect it might be a bit patchy. All I've been doing regarding lawn at the moment is just letting the non-prickly clovers go (and pulling up the prickly ones), and have tossed in some red clover seeds too off ebay. They're not liking the really hard clay much though.

So why not a conventional lawn? Mowing. We're lazy :)

get a goat

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get a goat

I know a few people who have successfully gone for artificial grass. I don't understand why they don't have GM grass that stops growing.

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Just based on the name of the thread I was already thinking lippia and dichondra.

They are both tough and make useful non-grass alternatives.

Actually Lippia is so tough that I think that some varieties are on the (ob)noxious weeds list.

They are fairly waterwise and good for harder climates.

The downside is that they don't wear particularly well - you get goat-tracks between the back door and the clothes line or the garage, and that they both have flowers that may attract bees, which can be tricky if the kids want to play out there. Lippia has a lot more flowers than dichondra.

You'll love dichondra - in the sun it only grows a couple of cm high. No mowing, not now, not ever.

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What about an arid garden with stone paths and lot's of cactus/succulents? Wait, sorry. I forgot about the kids. Still, nothing teaches kids respect for nature like cactus.

If I was you RE I'd listen to Ruffian. :smoke:

Or just concrete the lot and paint it (brunswick) green? :)

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Still, nothing teaches kids respect for nature like cactus.

Funny you should mention that.

I fell into my grandmother's cactus garden (prickly plants for a prickly personality) aged around four, and didn't get the last spine removed (embedded in my hand, about a cm long) until I was in my early twenties.

Wouldn't recommend it.

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---snip--

So why not a conventional lawn? Mowing. We're lazy :)

Santa Anna Couch is about as close as I've found to the perfect lawn. Needs an absolute minimum of mowing, is relatively drought tolerant and soft to sit and play on for the kids.

I ended up with it on my back block by accident after bringing home some loam from a mates place. I occasionally mow the weeds but the mower rarely touches the couch.

Cons: It is slow spreading, and if it does get severely stressed all manner of weeds will infest it, but I think that can be said of all lawns.

Edited by Popeye

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We've never had a lawn. Last two houses had dirt and gravel - this is so you can actually sit on it, otherwise I'd just pave the lot.

Not exactly any shortage of water here, our tank is already overflowing and we haven't even hooked up a pump to it to get water *out*!

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Do you have pics of your lawn alternative? If so, it'd be great to see it.

I'm also lazy and not fond of mowing the lawn.:thumbdown:

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We've never had a lawn. Last two houses had dirt and gravel - this is so you can actually sit on it, otherwise I'd just pave the lot.

Not exactly any shortage of water here, our tank is already overflowing and we haven't even hooked up a pump to it to get water *out*!

Yeah,.. I think that we've all dreamt of that from time to time, cost is all that stopped me.

Gravity works OK for watering the garden and works well with a dripper system, also it's free,... :thumbup:

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Slight update - having enormous trouble growing this stuff. The patch I want it to grow was formerly the driveway for the old house (so very compacted) and has been leveled with clay subsoil. Its horrible, and been having trouble keeping it damp enough to sprout anything. What I've got growing I've planted in tiny pots and then planted out as sort of 'plugs' of dichondra.

The stuff I've planted myself certainly hasn't died though, and is spreading. Just as well I'm in no hurry. However, winter is here and its now a quagmire outside so hopefully my latest batch of seed sprouts when the ground isn't frozen. The rain is certainly doing its thing to work in all the gypsum out there anyway.

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