Habiturf is a native lawn grass mix, developed by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. They conducted thorough research to create a blend of native grasses that performs comparably to traditional, nonnative turf grasses.
Interestingly, they discovered that a mixture of species performed better in plant density and foot traffic resistance than a single species planted alone would. Based on their trials, they were able to design a blend of Buffalograss, Blue Grama, and Curly Mesquite. The three grasses have similar growth heights and leaf structure, thus giving a uniform lawn look while providing the resilience of plant diversity.
Why Plant Habiturf?
There are many reasons to consider Habiturf for your yard. Lawns are the largest irrigated crop in America. With our growing awareness of the importance of conserving water, and many of us leading very busy lives, some people might want to plant Habiturf for conservation, and others for ease of management.
There is some initial investment in time and work to get a good stand of Habiturf, but once the seed bed is prepped and planted, the long term savings of time and resources will be well worth your initial work. Once established, Habiturf does not need to be mowed or fertilized and rarely watered.
Low nutrient needs: Buffalograss, Blue Grama, and Curly Mesquite use less nutrients than nonnative grasses from more nutrient-rich zones, thus Habiturf does not need fertilizing.
Drought tolerance: Native grasses are well adapted to handle the boom and bust cycles of Texas rains, and other low-moisture areas such as Arizona, New Mexico, and Southern California. All seed needs some water to germinate and get established. But once it has grown out, Habiturf requires less regular watering that traditional turf grasses.
Weed resistance: Plants in nature will compete against each other and some species will do better at certain times of the year, or under certain weather conditions. When one species does poorly, another species will make use of and fill in the newly opened space. This is why traditional monoculture yards are constantly having to battle weeds and why planting a mix decreases the appearance of unwanted plants — with a mix you are intentionally putting species together that compete. Some will succeed when others fail and move into any bare spaces, yet the similarity between the species will provide that lush, uniform lawn look.
Foot traffic resistance: The benefits of a mix stated above will also provide resistance to moderate foot traffic. If one species begins to die back, one of the others will take advantage and move in. Habiturf uses plant competition to your advantage.