Get Rid of the Grass in Your Landscape

Really?  Get rid of it?  But, I’m a big fan.  I love the relaxing feeling I get when I mow the grass.  Yes, there are many benefits of turfgrass, were  outlined last week, but really, in the true spirit of the horticultural truism of “Right Plant, Right Place”, turf simply doesn’t belong in all parts of the landscape.


Ok, where does it belong, and where doesn’t it belong?  Good question.  Of course, there is a lot of legitimate personal preference involved, but in general:


It does not belong:


In the shade of a building. Grass requires at least 3-4 hours of sun each day.


Under a shade tree. Grass requires at least 3-4 hours of sun each day.

bermuda turf in shade

On a steep slope.  It’s unsafe to mow on a steep slope.


In a hell strip.  The area between the street are hard to keep moist without wasting water.


Next to a house.  It’s hard to keep the turf moist here without getting a lot on the house.



It should be planted:


In full sun (or mostly sun).  Turf is generally considered to be a sun plant.


In a place where kids want to play.  Soccer is best played on healthy turf.


Next to a veggie garden. It’s easier to move equipment on turf than groundcovers or mulch.


On slight slopes or flat areas.  Great for erosion control.


Next to a flower garden.  Turfgrass is a great choice for the void in mass/void.


John Fech
Horticulture Extension Educator at Nebraska Extension
John Fech is a horticulturist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and certified arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture. The author of 2 books and over 200 popular and trade journal articles, he focuses his time on teaching effective landscape maintenance techniques, water conservation, diagnosing turf and ornamental problems and encouraging effective bilingual communication in the green industry. He works extensively with the media to extend the message of landscape sustainability, making over 100 television and radio appearances each year.
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