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Using native wildflowers or grass to replace lawns.

 
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Hey there! I wanna find out if I could still use buffalograss to replace Kentucky blue grass, crabgrass and non native turf grass to help native wildlife such as sparrows, goldfinches and others. I'm also looking for more native Midwest plants to replace dandlions, purslane, garlic mustard, and others that will become too invasive in the future. If anybody has any ideas on how can one replace the common turf grass into a sea of prairie wildflowers and grass for long term societal surrivial on Earth. Much love!
 
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Blake said, " use buffalograss to replace Kentucky blue grass, crabgrass and non native turf grass to help native wildlife such as sparrows, goldfinches and others.



Buffalograss, Buchloe dactyloides is the most wonderful grass in this world, or at least my part of the world.

I did not plant this native grass as it just showed up one day around the butterfly garden.  Possible because the garden was being watered.

It is slowly taking over the whole property.

What I love about it is that weeds don't grow where it is living.

I would highly recommend it as my grass never needs water or to be mowed.

In your area there might be more rainfall than I get so it might sometimes need mowing.

As a compliment to wildflowers, they might need their own area.

Here is my tribute to Buffalograss, Buchloe dactyloides:

https://permies.com/t/93789/Love-Affair-Buffalograss-Buchloe-dactyloides





 
Blake Lenoir
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Who has heard of eco grass?
 
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I think eco grass is a name prairie moon nursery gave to their lawn grass mix.  
 
Blake Lenoir
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What about grama grass?
 
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Another alternative lawn that works well here (north of you but not too far) is Pennsylvania sedge. It looks like a grass but technically isn’t. Doesn’t need to be mowed, but can stand to be mowed like once a year if you want. It spreads so will fill in from a modest amount of transplants, but can be interplanted with flowers and other things you want to grow. From what I’ve seen (in nature and in gardens) it is a nice ground cover that isn’t so aggressive as to form a monoculture. In nature, it grows in shade, but does fine in a sunny garden.

Speaking of groundcover, wild strawberry could replace some of the other plants you mentioned. Also wood sorrel, or some other species of Oxalis. Self-heal, Prunella vulgaris. Wild basil, Clinopodium vulgare I think is the name - takes mowing well, but might get a bit tall without it, like a foot or so. Plantain of course (both the introduced and the native P. rugelii grow in my yard). Native Potentilla/cinquefoils (there are several). Yarrow, not a ground cover but also does well in lawns. Those are all plants I have growing wild here - I can send a package in early summer if you like. It is too late for me to send seeds as most of my seeds are already outside (and I didn’t collect seeds from all these). Oh!! Violets.
 
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Oh, I just reread your original post, and I realized I’m such a woodland girl and not offering you prairie plants. I do have some native grass seeds if you like. They are direct sow in spring. You’d have to remove existing grass first, in order for them to take hold. Mainly I have tall grasses you wouldn’t want, but some cute shorties I have seed for include little bluestem and side-oats gramma. I am not sure how much prairie drop seed I have, but it is easily found online and I do recommend that one, very pretty.

Do you have a place for taller grasses? (Like 4+ feet tall - the ones I already listed are more like 18” on average.)

Oh another pretty ground cover is Antennaria, various species of pussytoes. Not edible to my knowledge, but has some traditional uses I’m not super familiar with.
 
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