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Old 03-19-2011, 11:28 PM
 
225 posts, read 245,559 times
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Default Suggestions on what to do for lawn instead of grass? (Raleigh, NC, area)

Anyone have any ideas what sort of low maintenance ground cover would be good? I'm not opposed to mowing, but would like something that doesn't need as much care. It would be roughly 3/4 acre, relatively flat, with several pines.

I'm pretty dumb when it comes to plant stuff. Is this even possible?
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:16 AM
 
Location: Bryte, CA
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It depends on how large the yard is. I've seen a lot of people with small yards in California makes somewhat of a woodland garden with ivy or vinca as a ground cover, in place of grass.

Vinca major

You may be interested in this:

Garden Rant: Lawn Reform
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:32 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
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Clover is a wonderful substitute for grass. It is nice to walk on and smells great when it is flowering. Just be sure to wear shoes when it is flowering because the bees love it too. When you do mow over it, it smells great.
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:54 PM
 
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Thanks for the links on vinca and Garden Rant. The website looks like a good source of ideas!
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:29 PM
 
Location: NC, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phawk57 View Post
Clover is a wonderful substitute for grass. It is nice to walk on and smells great when it is flowering. Just be sure to wear shoes when it is flowering because the bees love it too. When you do mow over it, it smells great.
Agreed!!! It also makes great mulch.
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC6ZLV View Post
It depends on how large the yard is. I've seen a lot of people with small yards in California makes somewhat of a woodland garden with ivy or vinca as a ground cover, in place of grass.

Vinca major

You may be interested in this:

Garden Rant: Lawn Reform
I am trying to eliminate the vinca major (and the ivy) a previous owner planted in my yard. Both are very invasive and not the kind of thing you can walk on. it provides good harbor for snakes and traps moisture that makes it great for breeding mosquitoes. You can't walk on it because it will grow calf high. If you like the look of vinca, try vinca minor--it grows lower and is less aggressive. I have it in my yard and it actually looks pretty with its little blue flowers.

If you have trees, don't plant ivy. It will grow right up them, seeking as much light as possible, and ivy on trees is well-known for helping to bring them down in ice/wind storms.
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:00 AM
 
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another link worth a look is Lawn Reform Coalition
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Rural Western TN
6,047 posts, read 8,388,754 times
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ive heard people having good luck with clover and various mosses.
moss lawns are incredible, very lush, incredibly soft with slight spring, but if i remember right they can be tough to get started, but once their going strong they make an amazing water efficient lawn.
i cant for the life of me remember what kind of moss they used though, sry.
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:59 PM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
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If you watch HGTV, check out Yard Crashers and Curb Appeal. They both do low maintenance lawns. Lots of shrubs and mulch.
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Knightdale
372 posts, read 625,714 times
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I'm in Raleigh... and whenever it gets hot and dry for more than 4 days, the clover in my yard dries up and dies out. Seeing as we typically don't get much rain in the summer and we have watering restrictions, I wouldn't go the clover route.

There are a couple of yards in my neighborhood where 80 - 100% of the yard is turned into a natural area with trees/bushes etc. If you can't do the whole yard, I would put Bermuda in the remaining spaces. You don't have to mow it as often as fescue, and it doesn't need as much 'attention' once it gets established.
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