En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Native fescues and sedges for turf in New York

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - July 25, 2006

From: Sparkill, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native fescues and sedges for turf in New York
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello, Came across your contact info while googling and hoped you could help answer a question or direct me to another resource that can. I am looking to redo my entire landscaping with native NY plants. I have been able to find some good resources for wildflowers and plants/trees. I am having a hard time finding any information about native grasses though. I am reducing the amount of 'grass/turf' on my property substantially, but do have one or two areas that I need to have a turf type grass on, for kids to play, etc., and small front yard area. I would like to know what my best bet is, if there are any grasse native to the area that would form a turf type lawn for these areas. I have seen some mention of gramma and little bluestem, etc., but they seem to have their drawbacks as well as benefits. I live in southern Rockland county, and my soil is very sandy, as the development was actually previously a commercial type sandpit years ago. Thank you for any recommendations or further resources you can recommend.

ANSWER:

There are a couple of possibilities that come to mind. One is the native fescues (Festuca spp.) that are low maintenance, require little mowing, and thrive in poor soils. Red fescue (Festuca rubra) is native to New York. There are other Festuca spp. native to New York that might also be suitable.

Another possibility is a sedge (Carex spp.) lawn. Of the five sedges named in the article, "Sedge Lawns for Every Landscape", two are native to New York—Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica) and Texas (or Catlin) sedge (Carex texensis). Besides those named in the article, there are many other Carex spp. native to New York that also might be suitable.

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Seed source for Carex texensis from Louisville KY
May 02, 2012 - Your reply to my question re a grass for my Kentucky home with cistern only water available was much appreciated, Carex texensis was recommended. I am unable to find this product for sale other than ...
view the full question and answer

Tree without extensive root system in Ozark, AL
April 10, 2009 - I would like to plant a tree (in full sun next to a brick house wall) that doesn't have an extensive root system. I have concerns about the roots and the water/septic lines, as well as the concrete h...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover to control erosion in Montgomery County, Texas
February 24, 2014 - I am looking for some kind of ground cover to control erosion on a north facing slope in Montgomery County, Texas. The area gets very little direct sunlight. I need something that will establish quick...
view the full question and answer

Plants for narrow strip between sidewalk and fence
May 01, 2008 - I have a strip of land about 5 inches wide and 30 feet long -- between the fence and the sidewalk -- that I would like to plant something that would look nice and wouldn't require the weedeater every...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses for horse and cattle forage in Hockley, Texas
April 03, 2011 - I would like to know the best type of native hay to seed on 10 acres in Hockley, Tx. The hay will be used for forage for horses and a milk cow. We would like to go completely organic and not use any ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center