Is there a grass that stays short and looks nice?

Asked June 24, 2013, 12:23 PM EDT

I have about 1/4 acre outside of Lebanon and it is lower than where the house is. By the time the ground is dry enough to mow, it is already 3 feet tall. What can I do about this? I want to find something that stays short, looks nice and will not ruin my neighbor's lawn. Help

Linn County Oregon perennial grasses horticulture

1 Response

First, eliminate completely what is growing there now. If you choose to not use herbicides to eliminate what is growing there now, take your time. Plow it up, disc it up, rototill it several times and then wait. Make sure there is nothing that survived the plowing, discing, and rototilling. It may take six months to be sure. If you choose to use herbicides to clean up the place, it will be cheaper and easier.

Once you have eliminated what is growing there now, work with your local farm store or farmer owned cooperative. Establish "Creeping Red Fescue." This perennial grass tops out at about a foot in height, more or less. To my knowledge, creeping red fescue rarely gets three feet tall. The seed is very expensive. I recommend that you use a phenoxy herbicide to kill the broadleaf weeds that will come up with your creeping red fescue. The phenoxy herbicide will kill the broad leaf weeds and will not harm the grass, that is, if it applied properly. Work with an agronomist from the farm store or farmer cooperative store.

Do this in the fall. Work the ground this summer. Work it again. Work it again. Then, this fall, "drill" the seed around October 15, 2013 or before. Drill the seed before the first fall rains. Be prepared to kill the broad leaf weeds that will come up in your creeping red fescue. Be prepared to control the broad leaf weeds about one to one and a half months after you sow the grass seed.