Grass lawns are a thing we take for granted. Nearly everyone in the United States with a house has some form of grass lawn, and maintaining your lawn with constant watering and mowing is simply one of those annoying responsibilities in life. And in many places, lawn maintenance is mandated by homeowners associations (HOAs).
But it doesn’t have to be that way. In addition to sucking up your time, energy, and money, maintaining a grass lawn — which often requires excessive watering, toxic chemicals, and gas-powered mowers and leaf blowers — is actually terrible for the surrounding environment.
Luckily, there’s an alternative to standard grass lawns. It’s called buffalo grass, and one Redditor’s usage of it garnered rave reviews on the r/NativePlantGardening subreddit.
The Redditor posted two pictures — one of the buffalo grass when it was initially planted on June 27, and another with a lush, fully-grown lawn of the stuff a mere two months later on Sept. 1.
“It’s like the perfect lawn for my shortgrass prairie region,” they wrote. “Low-to-no water depending on your climate. Maxes out at 4-5” tall so minimal maintenance/mowing. Turf forming, unlike many of my regional grasses which are bunch grasses (love them for different applications).”
The Redditor continued praising the grass for how it flourishes even when the soil isn’t the best. “And adapted to very poor soil, so minuscule fertilizer input if any,” they wrote. “In this case I literally did nothing to the soil. No amendments, no fertilizer, just poked a hole and added a plug right into the clay.”
Buffalo grass is native to North America — it got its name from being the food of choice for the 60 million wild bison that used to live in the Great Plains before they were driven into near extinction by commercial hunting in the 19th century. So, unlike other types of grass, it does not require nearly as much maintenance — it actually wants to grow here.
“Looks great!” one commenter wrote. “Enjoy mowing twice a year!”
It can also save you from getting in trouble with your meddlesome HOA since it resembles a regular grass lawn.
And if Buffalo grass doesn’t grow where you live, there are always other alternatives to ecologically destructive grass lawns, such as clover lawns and other types of native planting.
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