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Grass alternatives?

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Grass alternatives?

Post  cheyannarach on 5/10/2012, 11:20 pm

I recently pulled all my grass/weeds and am looking for ideas for a fun alternative to grass. I need something that can take some walking on, its not a huge area I just want something fun that will also help to shade out the weeds. Any suggestions?

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Re: Grass alternatives?

Post  GWN on 5/10/2012, 11:26 pm

woolly thyme......

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Re: Grass alternatives?

Post  littlejo on 5/11/2012, 12:21 am

I have some. Smells pretty good and has a little blue flower. Would make a good ground cover. Jo



http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t10106-herbs-wooly-thyme

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Re: Grass alternatives?

Post  cheyannarach on 5/11/2012, 12:25 am

This looks like a good idea! Thanks for the link too! I will do a little research on it!Very Happy

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Re: Grass alternatives?

Post  Daniel9999 on 5/11/2012, 12:26 am

Elfin Thyme.....

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Re: Grass alternatives?

Post  Turan on 5/11/2012, 12:35 am

I have yarrow growing in my lawn, it takes quite a bit of foot traffic. If you let some grow up it blooms and hte blooms are loved by beneficial insects.
I am also looking for more ideas on what to plant inareas I don't want grass for ground cover. There is some mint i saw starting to spread, but that might be like have quack grass, but better smelling.

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Re: Grass alternatives?

Post  FamilyGardening on 5/11/2012, 12:35 am

not sure if you are looking for something alive or not....but we have been putting down tree mulch that we get for free from our local tree services Very Happy on our garden paths....we also put it around our plants that are in containers and around the borders of our property.....

hugs

rose

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Re: Grass alternatives?

Post  cheyannarach on 5/11/2012, 12:45 am

Ohhhhh, I love the elfin thyme. I just googled pictures and got more ideas Very Happy (stepping stones with thyme inbetween stones, I already have a lot of stone that was left over from the rock work on our house). The yarrow is pretty too, that might be more for my backyard where everything is taller. Rose that is a great idea, I should look into that I can always use mulch anywhere! What I am looking for now is in the front yard and will go between the playground and flower boxes.

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Re: Grass alternatives?

Post  trukrebew on 5/11/2012, 11:01 pm

I love the suggestions for thyme. But in reading up on some of these links, I'm not sure if it will do well in a dense shade area. My previous grass alternative had mixed results, and I suspect that shade may be partly to blame.

Three years ago I seeded a new lawn in spring with 75% clover and 25% grass, hoping to have a mostly clover lawn that offered a lot of the same low maintenance as the thyme. About halfway through the summer the clover was green and plush. In fact, about halfway through every summer it looks like that. The problem is it takes a long time to get there. It completely recedes in the winter and the lawn turns to mud.

Since that hasn't worked out as planned (what does? LOL), I need something else to try. I'm looking for a soft grass alternative that:
  • grows in dense shade (only 3-5 hours direct sun/dappled sun)
  • grow in clay soil (which I can amend)
  • will not recede in the winter
  • stand up to moderate to heavy foot traffic (a.k.a. My 3 Sons)
  • needs little water
  • is soft to walk on

Is that too much to ask? Laughing
Is there such a plant?
BTW, I don't mind mowing, but tend to do it only when absolutely necessary!


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Re: Grass alternatives?

Post  claudiamedic on 5/11/2012, 11:15 pm

I will eagerly follow this thread! Our 105# dog has turned our back yard into a mud pit...the giant maple tree doesn't help either! thinking

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Re: Grass alternatives?

Post  Goosegirl on 5/12/2012, 11:05 am

I am actually going to put in some Creeping Charlie. It is a lawn 'weed' that I discovered when I was taking care of a neighbor's yard for a few months. It is low-growing (shorter than grass), HARDY, spreads well (mint-relative, so what does THAT tell you ) has beautiful little bluey purple flowers in the spring, and smells absolutely HEAVENLY when walked on or mowed, and is a beautiful dark green. It is a shade lover, but will tolerate some sun. When I was looking for seeds for it on the internet I ran across a forum where someone else was looking for seeds for it because it is the ONLY thing that was still growing in the areas where their dog was running a path through their little yard. I want to put it on the north side of my house which is mostly shade and the grass is scraggly at best. I may just do it as a ground cover between my boxes - there's a thought!

Warning, before trying it in your area you need to check your state's noxious weed list, as it may be listed as a 'no grow' in your state. Even though it was PURPOSELY brought to this country for several reasons, it is so prolific that it is now considered a weed (even tho' it is a beautiful one with incredible scent!).

GO MINTS!!!

GG

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Re: Grass alternatives?

Post  landarch on 5/12/2012, 11:40 am

yarrow can be mowed like a lawn

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Re: Grass alternatives?

Post  Grandpop on 5/12/2012, 12:20 pm

A few years ago I planted a small patch of zoysia grass using plugs. I now regret not planting my entire yard with this stuff. It does cost and it is slow growing, but once established I rarely mow that area and it is tough as nails as far as traffic goes. There are different strains today as well as different ideas on the best way to plant.

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Re: Grass alternatives?

Post  Nicola on 5/12/2012, 4:56 pm

I was going to suggest clover; that was suggested to me a few years ago, as a plant that's native here-- but not after trukrbrew's comment about the mud. Contact your extension service to find out what's native to your area, and see what appeals to you from that list.
[Now I'm being rushed off the computer by teenagers who are finally ready for Mom-taxi, after needing a ride to the bikepark 2 hrs ago]

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Re: Grass alternatives?

Post  cheyannarach on 5/13/2012, 12:07 pm

Okay everybody, I was at Menard's yesterday and found the cutest little three packs of Stepables Sole Mates. I didn't get any because I wanted to do a little research before I commited to any one of them but here is a list of what they had, these are all grass and can be walked on!!!

Petite dianthus

Green carpet

Creeping wire vine

White mazus

Motley mazus

Purple mazus

Irish moss

Scotch moss

New Zealand brass buttons

Coral carpet stonecrop

Miniature stonecrop

White creeping thyme

Elfin thyme

Red creeping thyme

Platt's black brass buttons

Creeping speedwell

Golden creeping speedwell

Just thought I would share for others out there looking for an alternative to grass!

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Re: Grass alternatives?

Post  cheyannarach on 5/14/2012, 2:14 am

Well, I who can never make up my mind have decided on three different covers to mix with eachother. Golden creeping speedwell, red creeping thyme, and miniature stonecrop. I think thi will look very cool as I have always loved different colors. I have looked into all of their growth rates, sizes, and hardiness and think this is it!!! Any thoughts?

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Re: Grass alternatives?

Post  trukrebew on 5/15/2012, 12:29 am

Thanks for that list, cheyannarach. I'd looked at Irish Moss, too. Even though it said 'heavy traffic,' I was told that really meant 'moderate' and definitely not '3-boys-and-their-friends traffic!' I will do some research on some others in your list.

@GooseGirl, I like your description of Creeping Charlie. I'll be sure to look into that, too. Deep shade is key!

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Re: Grass alternatives?

Post  cheyannarach on 5/15/2012, 1:01 am

You're welcome! That's exactly why I didn't buy on the spot because I knew there had to be more to it, some deffinately hold up to more foot traffic than others!! Mine shouldn't get a whole lot of it!Very Happy

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Re: Grass alternatives?

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