Lawn Alternative Ground Covers That Save Water

Posted by George Bravos on

Ground Cover Used As Lawn

Ground covers used as lawns like Kurapia, Frog Fruit and Phyla Nodiflora are becoming increasingly popular. These ground covers used as lawns have been introduced into the market by sod farms with relentless enthusiasm and confidence because of their groundbreaking benefits. Kurapia ground cover is a new hybrid made from the Phyla Nodiflora ground cover family, made sterile, stopping the invasive nature of this plants seed. Before the sterile hybrid Kurapia, many home owners new the native version of Phyla Nodiflora as Frog Fruit, Frogfruit, Turkey Tangler or Turkey Tangler Frog Fruit. Many names have been created for the Lippia Phyla Nodiflora due to how many areas the plant thrives in. Phyla ground covers are native to over half of the states in America and different versions can be found where hot weather persists.

Lawn Alternative Water Savings With Ground Cover

Cut your lawn watering in half, if not more, with Phyla ground covers. We have spent over four years testing native and hybrid groundcovers and have found the Native Phyla Nodiflora, and it’s hybrid version Kurapia, to be the most drought tolerant ground covers for both direct sun and sun and shade mixed areas. Both the Native Phyla and Kurapia provide big water savings. Ground cover lawn alternatives like the native ground cover phyla nodiflora and Kurapia ground cover both have the ability to spread and re-root when damaged, repairing dead areas that might have been affected by heavy drought.

Kurapia ground cover sod is a relatively new plant to the sod farming community and to landscapers. Like the rest of our sod and seed products, Kurapia was purchased and tested first at our storefront. Kurapia ground cover was established without any form of starter fertilizer or tilled soil. Instead, the Kurapia was established on a compacted bare dirt area in direct sun. For over four years, Sod and Seed, inc. has tested Kurapia ground cover. Time after time, Kurapia has consistently bounced back with proper watering and a little TLC after each drought test, damage test, and direct attempt to kill our Kurapia lawn with highly stressful conditions. 

How hard did we try to kill Kurapia ground cover? How about not watering it in summer for over two months! Don’t believe us? Watch our stress test video on YouTube titled "Kurapia Stress Testing" or click the link below. This video was created as part of a project at DVC by founder George Bravos, which involved both Native and Hybrid Ground Covers as lawn alternatives.

Testing Native Phyla Nodiflora took more time than testing the trademarked Kurapia because Kurapia comes in complete sod rolls versus and the Native Phyla ground cover comes in 2-4” plugs. Sod and Seed, Inc. testing consisted of Native Phyla Plugs placed 12” on center and watered 3 times daily for 10 minutes each session. Weeding was done weekly without any pesticides or fertilizers being used. After 2 months, the bare dirt area was 90% filled in. 
At the two month mark, the area was also top dressed with a sandy loam topsoil and fertilized to increase thickness. After 3 months, weeding was reduced to monthly in the native ground cover lawn area and watering was reduced to twice weekly. Like Kurapia ground cover, the native version Phyla Nodiflora repaired itself if damaged or underwatered, as long as the Phyla was already properly rooted with proper watering the first couple months. After 6 months, the phyla nodiflora lawn felt established enough for repair testing and drought testing.   

Toughest Lawn Alternative Ground Cover 

Phyla Nodiflora might be the toughest ground cover that is classified as a evergreen and used as a lawn alternative. When looking at tough ground covers, Frog Fruit ground cover and bermudagrass have many similarities. Both Frogfruit and Bermudagrass produce seed, some types sterile and some active, they both have stolons and expand without the need for seeding any damaged areas. The biggest difference between Frog Fruit and Bermudagrass is that bermudagrass goes dormant during the winter while Phyla Nodiflora or Frogfruit ground cover is a perennial and is green year-round.

Alternative Groundcovers

Thankfully, there is a variety of ground covers plants that can be used as lawns that are an improvement from traditional sod in regards to water savings and low maintenance. While Sod and Seed, inc. takes the time to match customers with the lawn that will best suit their conditions, ultimately our customers choose what they will want as priorities make differ from home to home. Whether you are looking for more water savings, drought tolerance, low maintenance or a lawn that's green year round, the Native Phyla Nodiflora and Kurapia sod are excellent options. 



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  • Thanks, George. I never stop learning from you!! :) Also, it’s nice to see that there are so many options to choose from.

    Virginia Walmsley on
  • Hello, George! I always appreciate your professionalism and skill level when diving into our little project using your Kurapia. We are extremely happy with the outcome!

    Cheryl Castillo on
  • Kurapia ground cover is what I recommend for people who have space limitations that refuse to be dictated by the traditional rules of gardening. It begins to grow in late winter and continues to spread each year, producing white flowers in spring and then saving a lot of water and mowing problems.

    Marica Mayer on
  • Hi Clinton! I would ask that you do some more research before you make a decision. If a ground cover will work for you in your situation then by all means, go for it.

    Dan Cavin on
  • Frog Fruit ground cover and Kurapia grass are similar in many ways. However, they also differ on a few points. Both are relatively quick to spread compared to other options available and require little work to thrive. Additionally, both do not require excessive watering as they can adapt to the terrain set before them. I wonder what I should pick for my front yard.

    Clinton Mackenzie Sr. on

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