Dear Mr. Smarty Plants
I live in Panama City Florida and am having great difficulty growing a lawn. I would prefer no lawn as grass, it seems a pointless use of resources but my husband requires green. I refuse to put more zoysia, augustine, centipede down as our soil is surrounded with overhead oak trees, composed mostly of quartz and is continually registering 7 to 8 on the Ph scale (we live very near the gulf of Mexico). I use organic humus and peat moss for the majority of my amendments but for the most part - I pick native plants. Please help in suggesting some type of grassy ground covering that will not only survive but indeed add to this harsh environment.
First of all, Mr. Smarty Plants commends you for getting rid of the water-hungry non-native grasses! Here are a couple of native grasses that don't grow too high and would be attractive groundcovers. Also, there are a couple of shrubs and small herbaceous plants that are good groundcovers. Perhaps you could combine the grasses with the low shrubs and herbaceous plants and create a very interesting yard.
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry) is also a low-growing shrub (less than 1 foot) and makes a great groundcover. However, it does like acid soils (pH<6.8) so it would take considerable supplement to grow in your soil. Here are more photos.
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