Questions about different grasses and grass alternatives for the Portland, OR area.
Hi, I have some questions about different grasses and grass alternatives for the Portland, OR area. 1. I'm interested in 4 different grasses and would like to know which one(s) would be expected to work best in soil that is south facing, well-drained, and in full-sun: Buffalo grass, which may outcompete weeds and I think will grow 4" to 6" tall, but develops thatch and turns brown in winter. Bent grass (colonial or creeping?), which may also outcompete weeds, but I think grows much taller than Buffalo grass, and also develops thatch and turns brown in winter. Perennial rye grass (maybe RPR?), which I think won’t outcompete weeds (not even the RPR), will grow 8" to 10" tall, and not develop thatch. And fine fescue, which I think also won’t outcompete weeds, will grow 6" to 12" tall, and also not develop thatch. Also, what about using sedge (Carex praegracilis or carex pansa) as a lawn substitute? I think both of those varieties will grow 6" to 8" tall, should outcompete weeds, and shouldn’t develop thatch. I'm also interested in planting dwarf mondo grass under a magnolia in our curb strip (also well-drained, full-sun). Is that doable? 2. Trifolium repens var Pipolina vs Trifolium repens var Pirouette - what's the difference? Is one taller or bigger than the other? What's the difference between microclover and miniclover? Is there any difference? How noticeable is it (my wife wants NO clover, so it's got to be inconspicuous or she'll veto its use). 3. Which of the grasses above would miniclover/microclover work best with? 4. Thoughts on Mycorrhiza? 5. Thoughts on corn gluten meal as both a pre-emergent herbicide and a slow-release N fertilizer (especially the liquid version)? 6. Thoughts on in-line liquid fertilization through the irrigation system? 7. Thoughts on Milorganite? I have a small front yard and three areas in the curb strip where I could plant various options to see which one(s) will do best in my yard’s micro-climate. If you could help narrow the options down a bit before I do that, I’d much appreciate it. Thanks, Morris
Multnomah County Oregon
Thanks for your quick reply. I do plan to keep my lawn mowed. From what I've read (thanks for the links, btw) it seems that bentrgrasses will easily take over rye and fescue if I'm not careful. I understand the need to regularly irrigate, fertilize, and mow at 2" or higher if I use rye and/or fescue (I plan on mowing to a height of 3"). But it seems like I might still need to overseed to keep the bentgrass away, is that right? If so, is this typically done annually to keep a nice-ish lawn? I'm not looking for the best lawn on the block, but would like it to look nice.