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Turf and turf alternatives

Turf information

Turf has it's place in the landscape.  It's a great surface for recreation and it also acts as a filter for pollutants.  There are several choices available to us in southern California.

Cool season grasses - These grasses stay green in the winter, but require more water during our dry summer to maintain their appearance.

Warm season grasses - These grasses stay green during the summer with little water, but turn brown in the winter when the temperature drops.

Turf Resources

Guide to Healthy Lawns


These low-water use turfs and turf alternatives are being grown successfully at South Coast Research and Extension Center in Irvine.

UC Verde Buffalo grass - This hybrid was developed at UC Davis.  It is a fine bladed grass that looks similar to a hybrid bermuda, but it does not spread by underground runners.  The ideal planting time is in the spring.

Seashore paspallum, Platinum paspallum - Seashore paspallum is noted for its high salt tolerance.  Platinum paspallum has a shorter winter dormancy period than bermuda grass.

Kurapia - This clover-like ground cover spreads out from stolons to produce a thick mat which is covered with small sterile flowers for much of the year.  It can be easily trimmed with a string trimmer.  The flowers do attract bees.  The maximum height of kurapia is approximately six inches.