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The Newest Lawn Alternative is Lawn

Last week I had the opportunity to learn about California Native Sod specially grown by the Delta Bluegrass Company of Stockton, CA. This is an extremely low water alternative to the conventional (fescue) sods typically used. Cal Trans has been using this new application with a success rate of over 80% versus a previous 40-50% success rate. While these new native sods have outstanding applications for transportation corridors, they are also perfect for residential use for Southern California’s front or backyards.

All varieties of the Native Sod are drought tolerant and rated low or very low based on the WUCOLS (water use classification of Landscape Species) program. Our typical lawn are otherwise considered HIGH on the WUCOLS listing.

So having this option of using California Native Sod now offers homeowners a reasonable alternative to still enjoy the benefits of a lawn without the consequences of misusing water.

lawn alternativesSelections of these new sods are as follows:

Native Mow Free is a versatile grass that can be maintained as a turf lawn or left un-mowed to form a meadow like environment. This blend is well situated for areas that receive up to 50% shade. This is most cases an even better alternative than Buffalo Grass.

Native Bentgrass is the number 1 choice for native lawns areas. This turf does require consistent mowing at 1.5” – 2” height. This results in the appearance of a traditional lawn. Native Bentgrass will tolerate low impact of foot traffic and takes full sun or part shade.

Delta Grassland Mix is a premium soft grass with an emerald green color and provides a unique European look when used in ornamental applications. This turf can be used for roof top gardens too.

Native Perservation Mix is a dark green fine textured grass with a rolling meadow effect.

Biofiltration Sod is used for erosion control and can take both dry and wet application. Perfect for an area subject to both drought and standing water for short periods.

All of these new sods have been recently tested for their appearance and durability. The seeds used for these new sods have been collected from native sites and or mountain meadows and formulated for their diverse applications as listed above.

These lawn alternative sods may have a greater dormancy element for the summer as our native plants typically do. And these grasses may vary whether they are mowed or not. This sod should still have fertilization both spring and fall. Early studies are showing a ROI (return on investment) for 18 to 24 months. As this sod is not locally grown, shipping fees to add to the costs.

A local example is the new turf used in the newly expanded San Diego Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. I can only imagine the future application of this exciting new turf alternative for San Diego.

So perhaps we can still live with “the grass is greener” ideal that has inspired so many. And green will always be a good thing. No one in San Diego wants to be Phoenix with too much gravel or decomposed granite or worse a dying lawn spray painted an awful shade of green. Finally, a new hope for a lawn alternative in San Diego.

Contact Letz Design to learn more.