Community Education on Environment and Development

About Ecoturf

What is ecoturf?

Ecoturf is a different approach to lawn, and has various brand names, such as Eco-lawn or Ecology Lawn. Designed to be more environmentally friendly and to need less maintenance than conventional lawn, once it is established (which takes a year or 2), it needs little summer water and generally no supplemental fertilizer.

It's a mix of various turf-type lawn grasses and waterwise broadleaf perennials, forming a dense lawn-type planting. The most commonly used broadleaf perennials are English daisy, yarrow and strawberry clover; perennial ryegrass is the most commonly used lawn grass. Clover provides nitrogen, helping eliminate the need for supplemental fertilization.

Ecoturf results in a meadow-like lawn, softer and less uniform than a conventional grass lawn because of the variety of textures. Formulated to present a generally green appearance year around, the lawn grass is green fall through spring, and the perennials are green during the summer, when the grass goes dormant.

Ecoturf seed is sown at a lower rate than conventional turfgrass (1 to 2 pounds per 1,000 square feet, as compared to 5 to 6 pounds), so the lawn seed will not choke out the perennials before they have a chance to become established. This means ecoturf will take a bit longer to get thick and lush than will a conventionally seeded lawn. During this period it is best to water it regularly as you would any newly seeded lawn. After this point, ecoturf only needs to be watered about once a month to keep the grass alive.

Tips for a successful ecoturf lawn

Buy a formulation developed for the West coast.

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