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Low maintenance grass garden?

18 years ago

I want to plant an extremely low-maintenance garden for my parents, and I was wondering if a grass garden is the way to go. Ideally I'd like something they only need to hack down or even burn once a year. Is it possible? Or will they end up with a weedy mess?

They have a large area (200 ft x 20-30 ft) on a very steep slope by a lake. There's a seawall and it's dangerous to mow.

Basically what I would like to do is create a large grass garden or small controlled prairie for them. I would sheet mulch the area (in sections, a bit each year) plant large patches of mostly native and naturalized grasses (muhly, fountain grass, bluestems). I would interplant with perennial wildflowers for a prairie effect.

I THINK it would be low maintenance because it's almost always seen from a distance and so it would still look good without much weeding--especially if I plant it with wildflowers.

The garden will border a lawn. Will the lawn take over? (I think there's Bermuda in it). Or will the ornamental grasses hold their own once their established? Will lawn weeds eventually take over? Or will a solid stand of grass usually shade them out?

The garden will be in South Georgia (Zone 8). It is full sun, sandy soil, with some irrigation. Again I'm going to try for super tough natives.

Any experiences or advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

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