From:Austin, TX Region: Southwest Topic: Turf Title: Native replacements for non-native St. Augustine lawn Answered by: Nan Hampton
Hi. We would like to reseed our lawn. It is currently St. Augustine. What would you suggest for a low maintanence, drought tolerant grass or ground cover. We would prefer to have something that does well in both shade and sun and can withstand some impact.
If your lawn were entirely sunny, then far and away the best choice would be buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides). It is drought tolerant and requires mowing only a few times a year. I suggest you read Native Lawns in the Native Plant Library for a discussion about how to create and manage a buffalo grass lawn. Unfortunately, buffalo grass doesn't do well in the shade; however, you might consider growing it in the sunny part of your lawn and something else in the shade. One possibility is to plant native sedges in the shady areas. In Sedge Lawns for Every Landscape John Greenlee describes several sedges that do well in lawns. Meadow sage or Texas Hill Country sedge (Carex perdentata) is one of these that is native to Travis County. Alternative possibilities for your shaded areas are these two ground covers: Texas frogfruit (Phyla nodiflora) and Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia).
All of the above should be commercially available. You can search for sources of native plants in the National Suppliers Directory. The Austin Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas also offers a list of native plant sources.
More Turf Questions
Replacing lawn in Taylor, Texas May 28, 2009 - I live in Taylor, Texas, just northeast of Austin, in the Blackland Prairie region. However, I do not live on a farm, but in town on a city lot of 1/3 acre. My soil is clayey, and currently I have a L... view the full question and answer
Mixing of bluebonnets and buffalograss in a lawn April 22, 2007 - I have moved into a house with a yard full of weeds. I would like to plant Buffalograss but understand Buffalograss is sparce and difficult to keep the weeds out. So, I was considering mixing it wit... view the full question and answer
Native grasses for a lawn in Wimberley, Texas April 25, 2010 - Is there a lawn grass that will go dormant with no water at all and come back? ..in Wimberley? our native grass didn't survive the drought. view the full question and answer
Problem with Habiturf. Is it dormant or dead? July 24, 2013 - We planted habiturf in spring 2012. It's beautiful. But since last summer, we have had one area that seems to go dormant much more rapidly than the rest, even though it receives the same amount of ... view the full question and answer
Short wildflowers to interplant with grass in PA July 05, 2011 - I live in NE PA and would like to grow short wildflowers throughout my yard mixed in with my grass. Is this possible? If so, what would be a good match for my zone? I will be mowing the grass once a w... view the full question and answer