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FutureStarrSedge Lawn or
Few breakthroughs in the history of turf have been as significant as the arrival of an entirely new kind of lawn—the sedge lawn. Sedges are close botanical cousins of the grasses and look a lot like them. Properly selected and planted, sedges can function as a traditional lawn, yet they require little or no mowing, fertilizing, or chemicals. Some require less water than many conventional turfgrasses. Others tolerate wet, moist areas, and many thrive in shade. What's more, sedge lawns restore something of the character of the native sods that existed before agriculture and development transformed the American landscape.
There are more than 2,000 species of Carex, and they are found in a wide range of habitats in nature. They vary from miniatures with foliage only 1 to 2 inches high, to specimens growing to 3 or 4 feet. Some creep, some clump, some do a little of both. They can be found in sun or shade, in wet soils or heavy clay, from coastal dunes to alpine scree. In almost every ecosystem, there is at least one sedge with good, lawnlike qualities.These native sedges have been selected for their compact growth and good, green color; most are evergreen as well. Many will tolerate varying degrees of shade and competition from tree roots. They are best grown in the regions where they are native, although most have shown amazing adaptability and grow well in regions outside their native range. As more horticulturists become aware of the sedges' potential in gardens, many more species are being collected from remnant populations in nature. Hybridization is still untapped and offers enormous possibilities for lawns of the future.
Catlin sedge is adapted to a wide variety of climates, from the hot, muggy Southeast to the hot, dry Southwest. It is hardy to USDA Zone 6, and perhaps Zone 5 in sheltered locations. It forms a matlike clump 3 to 4 inches high and 6 inches wide. To maintain as a lawn, catlin sedge will require two to three mowings per year. This dark green sedge is at its best in partial to full shade. Planted in full sun, it will tend to be lighter green and require ample water to look its best. Catlin sedge makes a fine lawn mowed or unmowed, planted either from seed or from plugs 6 inches on center.This Texas native is another excellent lawnlike sedge. It is drought tolerant and moisture tolerant with surprisingly soft, medium-green foliage. Its slowly creeping, almost clump-forming foliage is a light green color growing 4 to 6 inches high. A very versatile sedge, C. perdentata grows equally well in sun or shade, heavy or sandy soils. Its evergreen foliage is dependably hardy to Zone 6 and possibly lower. It looks best when watered regularly, but like most sedges it will tolerate periods of summer drought. Plant from plugs 6 to 12 inches on center in fall or spring. (Source: www.bbg.org)