Lowgrowing plants for lawn substitutes

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Mont, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. Mont

    Mont Junior Member

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    Can anyone recommend good substitutes for lawn? We want to get rid of the last of our front lawn and replace it with something that needs practically no watering (we're in Sydney so we do get rain occasionally). We want something low growing that we can walk over just as easily as grass. (Obviously a Moreton Bay fig would be a lawn substitute but not very convenient!).
     
  2. derekh

    derekh Junior Member

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  3. Luke B

    Luke B Junior Member

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    microlaena stipoides (weeping grass) might do the job.

    and basket grass and dichondra repens (kidney weed, a native) will grow well in a more shady moist area. entolasia grows in shady moist areas with sandy soils.
     
  4. junglerikki

    junglerikki Junior Member

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    What about creeping thyme? You could put stepping stones through it to reduce wear & tear if it's a much used walkway. There are some really cool colour available, like Doones Valley that is varigated & some that have hot pink flowers & some with the usual light pink. You could eat the bits that u don't walk on all the thyme! Ha Ha :lol: Is it a play area for kids & dogs too as that means these thing may not be tough enough(unless someone else out there in cyberland tells me differnt! I would like thyme to be very traffic resistant!)
     
  5. Guest

    Junglerikki's suggestion made me think of pennyroyal. Once it gets going it is pretty rampant, and it would smell lovely to roll around on. I think it would take a fair bit of foot traffic too, although the stepping stones are a good idea.
     
  6. junglerikki

    junglerikki Junior Member

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    I've found pennyroyal to be a wonderful ground cover for around irrigated areas. It has survived no water during summer for me at my mums house where i planted it, it went to flower & became quite tall, around 30-40cm during flower, then has survived sporadically after that, which of course will flourish again when the rains come. I think thyme is a better performer for dry times, but, hey, pennyroyal is coo for insect repelling properties & for fragrance....LUSH!
     
  7. Mont

    Mont Junior Member

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    Lowgrowing plants for lawn substitutes

    Thanks for all those suggestions, I'll use them. So far I've planted native violet, red verbena, a silver-leaved thing called Ajuga, and a woolly thyme. I also transplanted wild thyme and orange-scented thyme from a sunstarved spot. I'm gonna end up with a real patchwork lawn but that suits me fine!
     
  8. makehumusnotwar

    makehumusnotwar Junior Member

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    how rampant does pennyroyal become? i know many people who have regretted planting mints, after they spread everywhere (good for a lawn area i guess - maybe not the vegie patch). even if pennroyal did spread everywhere, that amazing scent would more than make up for it.
     
  9. junglerikki

    junglerikki Junior Member

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    I reckon that if u plant it on your paths around the frequented veggie patch, it's easy to cull it back from the patch because you r there all the time a pickin anyways so u can watch it, it could become a problem put in the wrong spot though say if it was a damp area where there were desirable less robust plants growing & where u didn't go often. I heard pennyroyal's an excellent ground cover to plant your brassicas into to help confuse white cabbage moth. Then there's all those other wonderful situations inbetween!
    Orange Scented Thyme! I need to get some! Botanic name or supplier anyone?
     
  10. ruralpeasant

    ruralpeasant Junior Member

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  11. junglerikki

    junglerikki Junior Member

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    Thank u froggy! (Toady?)
     
  12. davenz

    davenz Junior Member

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    Re: Lowgrowing plants for lawn substitutes

    I'm looking at this at the moment, and I've come up with white clover. I've been recommended the type 'Nomad' by Speciality Seeds (NZ). Clover suits dry conditions (we had drought and water restrictions last summer), is N-fixing, resistant to dog pee. On the downside, it can grow to 8 inches which may be too long. But the biggest issue for me is it's a short-lived perennial and may need to be reseeded every two years. Not sure if I like that idea. Then again, I've read it'll self seed readily? I've been recommended 1kg/100 square metres. Will follow instructions at WikiHow.
     
  13. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    Re: Lowgrowing plants for lawn substitutes

    Yes, it will reseed itself IF you let it go to seed. Many people insist on mowing it, which destroys the flower/seed heads, and exposes the soil to drying wind and sun. It's pretty hardy. And it's also a good food source for bees.

    Sue
     
  14. davenz

    davenz Junior Member

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    Re: Lowgrowing plants for lawn substitutes

    Sorry Sue, once again I'm confused. I just re-read the guide at https://www.wikihow.com/Grow-a-Clover-Lawn as I'm gearing up for this soon.

    >>Clover is a short-lived perennial, meaning that it will only reproduce itself for about two or three years. You'll need to re-seed after that.

    Is this right? Even if it re-seeds I'll have to resow it anyway? Or is this info misleading? I'm not planning on mowing it anyway. If I do though - is it only an issue if I mow when it's flowering?
     
  15. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: Lowgrowing plants for lawn substitutes

    What type of soil do you have?

    There are some clovers commonly called shamrocks with pretty white or pink flowers . They will compete with grass.
     
  16. davenz

    davenz Junior Member

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    Re: Lowgrowing plants for lawn substitutes

    I suppose the soil is loam, slightly acidic would be my guess with all the oak leaves over the years. I've gone ahead and ordered 5kg of 'NOMAD' white clover so we'll see how it goes. Sowing once the storms clear NZ! I'll post progress and results back here with pics over the next few months.
     
  17. Paul Cereghino

    Paul Cereghino Junior Member

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    Re: Lowgrowing plants for lawn substitutes

    I have mixed yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and english daisy (Bellis perennis) with grasses and clover to good effect, if you don't mow the yarrow flowers get tough and pokey. Some call Oxalis a shamrock. In our climate they start spreading by seed until they are everywhere.
     
  18. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: Lowgrowing plants for lawn substitutes

    I did see a beautiful patch of woodruff growing under a huge oak tree in NE USA . It looked fantastic.
    When you pick it, and dry it a little, it smells strongly of vanilla. Unfortunately it's too warm for me to grow it here.

    There is aground cover yarrow.

    Shamrocks?

    Native grasses?

    Violets? (some varieties are said to like lime/dolomite)

    For sunny spots groundcover thymes but they are a lot of work to weed and need good drainage.
     

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