Native Grass Lawn

I have been thinking of establishing a ‘lawn’ near the house partly to keep from tracking dirt into the house constantly and partly to have an area available for play. I don’t want vast paved areas.

I know of a lawn of Wallaby Grass (Austrodanthonia Species) which works well but dries off in summer. The idea of growing Weeping Rice Grass (Microlaena stipoides) with Wallaby Grass appeals to me. This grass has underground stolons a bit like couch grass. Couch is a real pest if it establishes itself in a flower bed. The idea of Microlaena running rampant appeals to me. (However I believe it can be a pest if it gets into flower beds). If it did I would get a faster ground cover. It is hardly likely to do that here with our low rainfall. To keep some greenness about it, it will probably need to be watered every three weeks during the summer. Even if water restrictions end up preventing that, I think it should hold and reappear when there is rain.

The biggest problem will be weeds. To keep them down while the grass is establishing will be a constant chore but worth it. Where the native Poas have established and the large patch of Austrodanthonia, there has been a marked reduction in weed plants. So given a chance the Native Grasses will re-establish on our block and a lawn is not impossible. Mowing is minimal with these grasses as just trimming the flower heads is all that is needed.


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