[Arid_gardener] dichondra lawn & shade
mhills at seedsolutions.com
Tue Apr 13 09:47:23 MST 2004
A Dichondra lawn can be planted from sod, plugs (pieces of sod), or from
seed planted directly on-site - all three forms are usually available in
local nurseries. Usually planted in spring and early summer for the best
results. It does do fairly well in the Low Desert areas of Arizona and
California, with additional water and care. Grows in sun to full shade,
but does not tolerate much wear and tear or traffic - will remain green
almost year around in the low desert, eith the proper care.
This broad-leaved grass substitute has only surface runners, and will creep
slowly over damaged areas to fill-in, and may creep over borders into
flowerbeds, but is not considered invasive as it creeps slowly, not
aggressively. It can be attacked periodically by an leaf-eating insect
called Flea Beetle, and there are several products to control this pest -
only used after the pest shows up.
We have a publication with information on Dichondra. It is publication no.
8143. Please see our web site at:
This will show you a list of our publications and has instructions on how to
get copies. The publication on Dichondra and Lippia Ground covers is listed
in the Index under Lawns.
You must be VERY cautious using any herbicides or "weed & feed" type
products on a dichondra lawn - read your labels closely. This is not a
true grass, so many weed killers that take out broad-leaved plants will also
kill your dichondra. ALSO, do not overseed in winter - the ryegrass
overseed process will stress and kill your dichondra.
As alternate options for shaded areas, there are 3 turfgrass possibilities.
1) "BobSod" (aka 'Mississippi Choice' or 'Bull's Eye') - this is a sod only
variety of bermudgrass that is ranked high for tolerance of low light.
Still needs 4-5 hours of sunlight a day, even if this is just glancing in
around the edges of the tree canopy. You may still want to trim the tree
canopy up some to allow more light under. This is the bermuda variety
that has shown the most success growing in the Bank One Ballpark.
2) Turf Type Tall Fescue - many varieties available from seed or as
multiple variety mixtures. This turf does best if seeded in the Fall, and
with proper care and 2-3 times the water inputs for bermud, it will remain
green all year. Should be mowed between 2-4 inches in height to tolerate
the sun and heat better. Very shade tolerant. In the Low Desert, DO NOT
fertilise between May 15 and Sept. 15, a stress period for this grass
species - fertilising in summer will kill it. Has no surface runners, and
only a few varieties have underground rhizomes/stems so thin areas must be
re-seeded each fall.
3) Zoysiagrass (aka 'Japanese Lawngrass') - several varieties are available
in local nurseries and garden centers - either from sod or plugs or seed.
This is a warm season, heat loving grass that is fairly shade tolerant.
Must be planted and established between May 1 and Sept. 1th for best
results. Does have both surface and underground creeping stems for
recovery from wear and tear - also will invade flowerbeds, but not nearly as
fast as bermuda. Goes dormant and brown in winter, and should be left
alone - NOT ryegrass overseeded. Too heavy of a winter overseed will thin
out the zoysia, so you have a poor stand the following summer. Instead,
when it does go dormant in winter, look at oit as a vacation from mowing.
Master Gardener Volunteer, Maricopa County
From: arid_gardener-bounces at CALS.arizona.edu
[mailto:arid_gardener-bounces at CALS.arizona.edu]On Behalf Of deedee kaplan
Sent: Monday, April 12, 2004 10:23 PM
To: arid_gardener at Ag.arizona.edu
Subject: [Arid_gardener] dicondra grass
I have a shady lawn area that I want to plant dicondra in. Is this the
time to seed it or is there a superior grass that could thrive in shade?
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