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I have someone with about ¾ of an acre and they want to plant some kind of grass that won't require a lot of water or mowing but is good for children to play on.

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"I have someone with about ¾ of an acre and they want to plant some kind of grass that won't require a lot of water or mowing but is good for children to play on. They have some water for the property and are going to put in two big sprinklers in hopes that will cover the area. They dont want any animals on it. They are willing to try different types of plants on the acreage. Can you recommend anything for her?"

Tall fescue works well in a low maintenance situation. It needs regular watering to remain green during the summer, but slightly less water than Kentucky bluegrass. Fescue is more tolerant of prolonged drought than Kentucky bluegrass. This would be the best choice if this person expects a lot of kid play on it during the year. Buffalograss still needs some irrigation during the summer, but will use significantly less water (½ of that needed by Kentucky bluegrass). Buffalograss will be brown (dormant) during the cooler times of year, from October to April. When Buffalograss is dormant, it shouldn't have a lot of traffic, i.e. soccer games, etc. Some activity is fine. It is more expensive to plant and a bit more difficult to establish than Kentucky bluegrass or tall fescue. Crested wheatgrass is the best solution if you don't want to water at all once the grass is established. It will create a nice green turf in spring and fall, but will be dormant during the summer.

Posted on 12 Sep 2006

Nancy Mesner
Program Leader, Water quality Specialist

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