Imagine a lawn that needs little mowing each year, saving you time and/or the expense of hiring a maintenance team to make their bi-weekly visits? The smart folks at Delta Bluegrass Company have come up with two such California native products and best of all you can buy it in rolls of sod instead of waiting for it to grow from seed.
Native Mow Free ™ is a blend of 3 different Fescues: F. occidentalis, idahoensis and rubra. For areas that are for looks only, there is no need to mow. The desired appearance and projected use of your sod area will determine the mowing height and frequency.
In non-mowed areas, the grass will reach a height of 8 to 10 inches and then begin to layover on itself. Most often areas are string trimmed once or twice per year. This is usually in the mid and late spring to remove the florets or seed heads. A string trimmer or weed eater is the most common landscape tool used to cut the grass to the preferred height. NEVER remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade with any single mow cycle. The use of 12 to 18 inch extension risers on your sprinkler system is recommended to achieve complete and effective irrigation coverage.
Since this is a native plant, it does not need or like heavy chemical fertilizers. Instead use very slow release or organic (preferred) fertilizer in the spring and fall and remember to water in well. For a mow free to low mow lawn that receives up to 50% daily shade, this is a great choice.
For a full sun application or if you want a native lawn that looks traditional, Native Bentgrass™, is a good choice for you. The sod is 100% Agrostis pallens. By keeping it at a height of 1/1/2- 2” it will look just like a traditional lawn but without the hassle needed fertilizers (same as above).
Another benefit that you can enjoy is water savings! Once your sod has established itself through one summer season, Delta Bluegrass states that you can “reduce your irrigation to 50% less than what you would apply to traditional areas.” Depending on where you live (climate), this means that your return on investment of switching to native would be recouped in as little as 18 months (water and maintenance costs combined).
So less maintenance and less water…sounds like a win-win for these lawns. If you are thinking of going native, please feel free to discuss with me as there are other choices on the market depending on your unique site requirements.