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Old 10-30-08, 02:08 AM   #1
Thalass
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Default Water Efficient Grass

It's probably not a problem in crazy places where water sits a metre deep on the ground for six months of the year, but over here in Australia water is in limited supply.

In recent years there've been a bunch of new breeds of grass available that look nice while using far less water.

I don't know exactly what they're called (my house isn't built yet), so I don't know if they're available overseas, but in a country like Australia it's a great idea to reduce your water use (and your water bill!)

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Old 10-30-08, 06:57 AM   #2
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The US had some places this summer that we having a heck of a time getting enough water. You'll have to let us know when you discover the name of the grass as I think it's valuable to save water all of the time.

Cory
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Old 10-30-08, 08:49 AM   #3
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Here's a couple of drought resistant grass seed available in Canada. I know the US also sells Scotts, not sure if they have it in Australia.

Scotts Canada Home: Scotts Pure Premium Heat and Drought Grass Seed

Buy CIL Kentucky Blue Plus Grass Seed in Canada - Yahoo! Canada Shopping

The CIL brand I think is only available in Canada, but I could be wrong. But, you're right, there is seed out there for areas that don't have that much water.
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Old 10-30-08, 11:10 AM   #4
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Have you considered an alternative to grass? Turf grasses are usually about the thirstiest plants out there (probably because they take up so much area). In some areas of California, for example, they actually use a succulent of some sort (not sure what it was, my visit there was brief) to cover the ground near the freeways because it uses a lot less water and maintenance. also, people in the desert southwest of the US rarely use grass. A search on homes for sale in that area (such as Phoenix, AZ)turns up photos of a lot of interesting alternatives. It seems a bed of river rock with trees and cacti seems to be the most popular, and they look good and still provide shade.
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Old 10-30-08, 12:00 PM   #5
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That's a good idea David. I remember watching something on TV about green renovations to a house in Georgia, and they used a lot of tall grasses, plants and flowers in their yard that don't need a lot of water to grow and be maintained rather then having grass in their yard..

You may also want to look at the rain barrel set up in the other threads to collect raid water when it does decide to rain in Australia (although maybe you already have that in place).
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Old 11-10-08, 12:35 PM   #6
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Where I live, in the Central Valley of California, the city is paying $1 per square foot for having your lawn removed. I am planning on removing about 400 square feet. I will replace about half of it with a dry river bed and the remaining I will replace with xeriscape. I have been seeing a lot more artificial lawns lately. They have gotten a lot better looking. You have to look closely to see that they aren't real.

The Denver Botanic Gardens did a drought tolerant turf test a long time ago. Blue Gramma and Buffalo grass were both good but I don't think that you can buy either by the bag. They may not grow fast enough to out compete the weeds.
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Old 11-11-08, 08:54 AM   #7
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Buffalo grass is available. Not sure if you have to buy seed or sod, though. I've seen it on several lawns in Texas in areas with long, hot, dry summers. It is still thick and very dark green, even in drought conditions, but your lawnmower blades must be very sharp or there will be nasty brown edges all over at the cut lines, more so than other grasses.

It's very coarse, so it looks very different than other grasses, but some like it. Not sure how much water it requires in the off season, though.

I like the idea of using a lot of alternative landscape idea, like truckncycle's xeriscape and dry riverbed (plaease post a pic when done).
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Old 12-04-08, 05:23 PM   #8
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Go Native!

Whatever grasses grow natively in your area will need the least water and care. There may be a nursery near you that specializes in native plants where you can ask what works well.

I have a buffalo grass and blue grama lawn, because they grow naturally here (New Mexico) and only need watering to stay green if it's been a few weeks since the last rain. I had to plant the grass as seed and it is slow to establish, but no fertilizing and very little care otherwise.

Tim
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Old 06-23-11, 11:15 PM   #9
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Because of the challenge to keep natural grass surfaces up to par for equestrian use, a wonderful alternative that continues to be used today is artificial turf. This surface is so ideal for equestrian use because it is engineered to last and requires minimal upkeep in comparison to a natural grass surface. For horse riding sports, strength and maintenance are two significant factors. The benefits are impressive when switching from natural to synthetic grass, especially for equestrianism.
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Old 07-07-11, 06:41 PM   #10
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Many years ago (1990ish) I read about a grass that was found on the Canadian prairie. It was called something like buffalo or prairie grass. It seeded itself, resisted insects, crowded out weeds, needed little water, and grew an inch a month. Having just lived through a drought that killed ten foot high pine trees stone dead in three months, I thought this was perfect for a lawn. Never heard of it again. Is this the same stuff you folks are talking about? If so, I know the pros of this grass, what are the cons, the negatives?

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