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Don't Change Tree, Change the Grass

August 28, 1994

Your "Gardening Q&A" column for July 24 answered a letter requesting the name of a tree that the writer can plant and still have a green lawn.

May I suggest the opposite approach? Change the lawn to a type of grass that grows well under virtually any tree.

I planted a grass called "Adelaide" (because it originated in Adelaide, Australia) over 15 years ago, and it has been just about all that the nursery that advertised it said it was. In appearance it is similar to bermuda but better looking. It is weed resistant because it is dense (15 to 20 minutes of weed pulling, total, in 15 years). It is more drought resistant than it is weed resistant. It is grown high--about 2 1/2 to 3 inches.

Adelaide is grown only from plugs or stolons; it has no seeds. During most of the year it is green. It goes dormant from Thanksgiving to March. This past year I planted winter rye in the lawn and the results were perfect--a rich green during dormancy for the Adelaide then gradually fading out as the Adelaide came in with its own green color.

E.C. LOVRET, Santa Ana

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