Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


Posts Tagged ‘carex pansa’

Carex pansa

Carex pansa, Dune Sedge

We recently checked in on a garden in Walnut Creek that we helped design and install two years ago. There’s a fair bit going on in that garden, but one of the things I was most interested in seeing was the Carex pansa lawn that we planted. C. pansa is one of the main lawn alternatives that gets talked about these days. It was our first experience with it. So far, two years after planting, I’m pretty impressed.

A Box of Lawn

We planted it as 2″ plugs ordered from Greenlee Nursery (they have a great webpage for Carex Pansa). I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it was a surprise when some cardboard boxes showed up with the grasses stacked inside. I don’t remember how many, but it was somewhere around 2,000, and I ended up planting about half of them by myself. I had scheduled the planting on a Friday, but we got rained out and then I was too soft to make everyone come back to help me on the weekend. I averaged about one hundred per hour. Maintaining straight rows and regularly spacing seemed actually kind of hard.

April, 2010, six months after planting, not much new growth yet

July 2010, starting to spread with the warmer weather

A quirk of this lawn is that it is watered with sub-surface drip irrigation. We were nervous that the plugs might not get their roots out in time to find the water, but we planted in November and they sufficiently established themselves by summer. Some of the plugs grew in quicker than others, and I’m guessing that’s because they were closer to the emitters. You can plant the plugs at six inch, eight inch, or twelve inch spacing depending on your budget and how fast you want them to fill in. We did eight inch spacing. The irrigation is managed by one of the weather-satellite/internet-based controllers that do all the thinking for you, so I don’t know how much water it’s getting at this point. Less than a traditional lawn for sure.

October 2011, 2 years

Along with water usage, I wish I had a good cost comparison. The plugs cost about three times as much as sod, it was definitely more labor to install, and we had to weed it several times in the spring and summer. But now that it’s saving the cost or labor of mowing and using less water, it should be making a big comeback on the economic side of things. Also, because it was irrigated with drip irrigation, it qualified for a rebate from the water company. I have a few more photos below. (more…)