Lawn & Lawn Alternatives
Today there are more choices than ever when it comes to lawn and lawn alternatives. If you like the look and feel of a conventional lawn, there are even some lower-water choices available. If you're ready to take the plunge and replace your lawn with low or no-water alternative, that is an option as well.
Lawns are a convenient choice for families with small children and pets, offering a smooth, firm, walkable surface. If you want to install a new lawn or perhaps refresh an existing lawn, there are plenty of lawn grasses that are up for the job. Be sure to bone up on the best strategies for mowing, edging, and keeping your grass green. Learn more about caring for a lawn.
Use our list of > CONVENTIONAL LAWN GRASSES
Some of these grasses are native to California, which is a good clue that they will be more water-wise. Here are a few conventional lawn grasses to consider.
• California bent grass (Agrostis densiflora) -- found on dunes and cliffs in northern and central California; grows 4 to 30 inches tall, can be mowed.
• Biofiltration Sod – A mix of California grasses; tolerates drought and standing water and helps with erosion control.
• Zoysia 'DeAnza' – Tight grass, water efficient, can be mowed to 2 inches high.
Whether you want to turn your lawn into a new low-water walkable surface or a mosaic of blooming perennials, there are plenty of plants to choose from. The best way to convert a conventional lawn is with sheet mulching. Here's more on how to replace a lawn (and how to decide what to put there instead).
Use our list of > WALKABLE LAWN ALTERNATIVES
Many of these alternatives use a fraction of the water of conventional lawns. Plus, some are useful in special situations:
• White clover does not show pet urine damage.
• UC verde buffalo grass and Catlin sedge only need mowing once a year.
• Dymondia is super durable.
• Kurapia's long roots make it a good choice for hillsides and slopes.
• Thyme has a lovely fragrance.
• Red fescue and white clover work in shade.
• Native Mow-Free works in part-shade.