Sterile Frogfruit - Native Groundcover Lawn
WARM SEASON PLANTING (cut in half for Nov-Feb plantings):
First 7-14 Days: 2x Day / First 2-4 Weeks: 1x Day / First 4-8 Weeks: 1x Day / Next 3 Months: 3x Week
WINTER: no irrigation
SPRING: 1-4 x a month
SUMMER/FALL: 1-2 x a week*
(*see guide for more details)
Sterile Frogfruit - Native Succulent Groundcover Lawn
AKA: ALT LAWN ULTRA, Lippia - sterile, Phyla nodiflora, Verbena nodiflora, Frogfruit, Turkey Tangle, etc.
Phyla nodiflora is a succulent native groundcover. It's the only native spreading groundcover that works as a full-coverage lawn. And, it’s the most Waterwise. A sustainable lawn alternative at a fraction of the cost of artificial turf. And a whole lot better looking too. This varietal of Phyla is sterile. It charms bees, grows low and goes months without water in the cool season. Recently hybridized in Japan to prevent aggressive spreading - where it's the country's most popular lawn & groundcover - it's just catching on in California.
Ideal for Sun or Part Shade
Survives on 1x week watering and no winter water*
Foot Traffic, Sport & Dog-Friendly
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has deemed Phyla nodiflora groundcover as a rebate qualifying lawn alternative. Apply now! Click here for more details.
*1x Week Watering
Phylla nodiflora can survive on 1x week water after it's first year of establishment, though it will get patchy. It functions & looks best with 2x a week watering in summer-fall in Southern California. And even monthly mowing if you want it it's greenest. It will make it through watering restrictions when necessary. In areas of California with more regular rainfall no irrigation may be necessary after 2 years establishment.
Best planted in March-July. Phyla nodiflora is a warm season grower it does most of its spreading in summer-fall. And, in most case, it will not require any winter watering once mature. In shade it gets 4-6" long and is softer. But even part shade means it needs much less water (one client in Camarillo stopped watering entirely after 3 years in full shade without issue). Just remember regular watering is required in the first year for Phylla nodiflora to get its roots down the 10' required for it to go the distance on any water savings.
Mow it once a month to keep the small clover-like flowering down and get the freshest look (reducing watering can also reduce flowering). Or never mow. It’ll naturally stay soccer height & look decent regardless when in full sun. This groundcover is unstoppable once established (but don't worry it's also sterile so won't spread by seed and is not invasive). Sure, it creeps. But it stands up to dogs, sports, parties and a good amount of neglect.
Care & Installation
Weed - regularly in the first year. Nut sedge is most common weed problem. A spray with the active ingredient of halosulfuron-methyl (like Sedgehammer) will kill off nut sedge grass without damaging Phylla nodiflora.
Blooming - Phylla nodiflora produces a bee attracting flower, especially in Spring. Most customers love nursing our honeybees and don't find them bothersome. However, it's not right for everyone! NOT RECOMMENDED for homes with bee allergies or strong aversions.
Season - Frogfruit is best planted March-October. It can certainly be planted in cooler seasons too, but won't spread in the winter.
Around one week. Select your preferred delivery date at checkout and we'll do our best to make it happen! Please note: Alta Lawn Ultra - Kurapia Groundcover plugs are delivered on Wednesdays only.
Kurapia & California Meadow products come in sod or plugs. Plugs are small plants that you plant every square foot with the help of a bulb auger drill bit. Sod is like a green carpet you roll out and apply heavy pressure to bond with soil.
Kurapia grows very slowly when temperatures are cool, so rarely spreads much at all from late November to about February. If you're thinking you'd like to do plugs, just be advised that you will have to wait a little extra (and weed regularly in the mean time) for it to fill in fully. Sod on the other hand gives instant coverage.
California Meadow on the other hand has a mix of warm and cool season grasses so will fill-in at about the same rate most times of year. Though in general most plants spread faster with generous warmth.
Plugs are spaced at 12" but you can space further (just lower your squre footage order) if you're not in a rush. Or want to fill in with something else later. We have a 200 sq.ft. minimum on all lawn options. Orders under 400 sq.ft. are subject to a slight price increase to accomodate current shipping rates.
More or less the same as regular sod or lawn except with less fertilizer. Here's some basic guidelines:
HOW TO PREP YOUR DIRT
Remove Nasties: Pull out weeds, stumps & any plants you don’t want
Loosen ‘er Up: Use a shovel or tiller to loosen the top 4-6 inches of soil. If you have sandy or uncompacted soil this isn't necessary.
Groom: Remove smaller rocks & roots. clean it up so it’s smooth and buttery as possible.
Rake-in Amendments: Rake a light dressing of organic compost, lime &/or Mycorrhizae evenly across
Wet soil: to a minimum of 6” deep to before laying down your sod. This will give a nice moist surface for the roots to bond with when lain down.
Irrigation requirements: sprinkler irrigation is recommended for all sod and most plug products (except in shadey or passively irrigated conditions). Hand-watering not recommended.
The first 2 weeks establishment requires multiple daily waterings. First month's establishment progresses to once a day watering. Then reduce to a regular 2x a week watering schedule (more may be required if planting in hot times of year). Native grasses typically need 2x a week waterings for heat waves in Southern California. Kurapia survives on 1x a week watering in times of water shortages but looks better with 2.
About half of these lawns require no winter irrigation! Contact us for details.