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Old 02-29-2012, 03:36 PM
 
2,156 posts, read 2,463,897 times
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If you must put in turf grass, I would recommend that you take this opportunity to make some beds with native plants and grasses, and some area that is rock or dry stream or stepping stones, deck, etc. so that the grass area (the area that is thirsty for water) is smaller. Considering the future forecasts, that would be smartest thing to do, and probably would decrease the annual (lately) worry about losing one's lawn.
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Cedar Park/NW Austin
1,298 posts, read 1,547,243 times
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I put in a huge bed encircling two trees in my front yard last summer. My front yard is probably 50% plant bed, 50% grass/weeds at the moment.

The next project is to get rid of the grass in the strip between the road and sidewalk and replace it with something else that can tolerate 100% sun and heat bouncing off asphalt. On the side yard with the air conditioner, I plan to turn half of that into a bed with a groundcover like winter creeper.
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
498 posts, read 545,157 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calel View Post
The next project is to get rid of the grass in the strip between the road and sidewalk and replace it with something else that can tolerate 100% sun and heat bouncing off asphalt.
I'd love to hear what you end up doing (or if anyone else in Austin has redone their hell strip). Not only is it tough to grow grass there, but letting sprinklers reach it is a total waste of water since I end up watering twice as much sidewalk as grass. Something that only requires occasional hand watering would be great.
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:30 PM
 
Location: central Austin
4,486 posts, read 6,252,500 times
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Mine has a tree so I am pulling out the grass and replacing with mulch. Others in my neighborhood and replaced sod with succulant plants and decomposed granite. Lantana will fill almost any space!
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
8,488 posts, read 16,876,976 times
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Quote:
I'd love to hear what you end up doing (or if anyone else in Austin has redone their hell strip). Not only is it tough to grow grass there, but letting sprinklers reach it is a total waste of water since I end up watering twice as much sidewalk as grass. Something that only requires occasional hand watering would be great.
We currently have an in-ground sprinkler system that does an excellent job of watering that strip (and not the pavement) or else we would have long since gotten rid of it.

There are a growing number of people in our neighborhood getting rid of it, though. The most common seems to be simply crushed granite, although a few of those houses have added one or two arid-climate plants. A couple more have added flagstones set in crushed granite, and those can look really nice. The flagstones go well with the rock in neighborhood and are much less boring than just a patch or pink granite.
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,096 posts, read 18,589,086 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calel View Post
I put in a huge bed encircling two trees in my front yard last summer. My front yard is probably 50% plant bed, 50% grass/weeds at the moment.

The next project is to get rid of the grass in the strip between the road and sidewalk and replace it with something else that can tolerate 100% sun and heat bouncing off asphalt. On the side yard with the air conditioner, I plan to turn half of that into a bed with a groundcover like winter creeper.
I had never heard of "winter creeper" so had to look it up. It appears to be a shade plant, that is very invasive plant and not native to the area.

I urge you to choose your plants from the Austin Grow Green Plant resources you can find here. Plants | AustinTexas.gov - The Official Website of the City of Austin Asiatic Jasmine is a recommended ground cover that is similar in appearance to winter creeper and does well here.
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
207 posts, read 168,687 times
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Lantana worked very well in our VERY hot and exposed hell strip. We did hand-water it about every other day or so. I am not sure how little water we could have gotten away with; our house was being listed for sale so we did not want to risk having dead lantana in front, so we kept on top of it. But it was amazing to see something actually blooming after being pummeled so hard by the sun.
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,096 posts, read 18,589,086 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
Sorry I don't have any recommendations. My native bermuda really is native. I bought 6 acres already in native bermuda. Never had to worry about the grass over 15 years.
Bermuda grass is not native.

Quote:
Bermuda Grass is a grass native to north and east Africa, Asia and Australia and southern Europe. Although it is not native to Bermuda, it is an abundant invasive species there. It is presumed to have arrived in North America from Bermuda, resulting in its common name.
It is very invasive. Odds are someone planted some of it near your property and it spread until he land was covered. It is a good choice for low water use, but is hard to control, it will spread into any adjacent planting beds where you might not want it. Also it does not crowd out weeds very well, so they will be more of a problem.

Last edited by CptnRn; 03-01-2012 at 04:29 PM..
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:56 PM
 
228 posts, read 337,388 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CptnRn View Post
It is very invasive. Odds are someone planted some of it near your property and it spread until he land was covered. It is a good choice for low water use, but is hard to control, it will spread into any adjacent planting beds where you might not want it. Also it does not crowd out weeds very well, so they will be more of a problem.
Yep - I have Bermuda that invaded my Augustine here and there - it's tough to get rid of - I try pulling as much as I can out in hopes it'll slow it down but I know it has runners deep down.
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:49 PM
 
2,156 posts, read 2,463,897 times
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They are right. No way is any Bermuda grass native. Just because it has covered acres of land for a number of years doesn't make it native. It is also very invasive. The city Grow Green guide recommends that you not plant Bermuda where it could spread to natural areas and nature preserves. The only turf grass that is native is Buffalo.
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