We contracted with Delta Blue Grass to fund experimentation for a native grass sod which will use 50% to 70% less water, require less mowing and require no chemicals. Test plots we co-sponsored with the Town of Portola Valley and California Department of Water showed summer month water savings of 88% and zero chemical requirement.
Native Grass / Sod
  • Interest in California Native grasses has spread throughout the green industry. Water conservation concerns and economics have prompted many to investigate grasses that thrive with little water or no supplemental water. Native grasses are the foundation of our many native ecosystems. They have evolved to live with California’s diverse topography, climate and soil types. Water seeking roots can often reach a depth of 6 feet, increasing water infiltration, recycling nutrients and providing soil stabilization. In bio swale conditions, native grasses absorb nitrates, heavy metals and solids that have entered into waterways.
  • The species used by Delta Bluegrass Company stay green year round if irrigated, with up to 50% less water than traditional cool season turf grasses. In non-irrigated applications, most native sod blends will establish and actively grow during the wet season. They will go dormant during the summer becoming golden summer fields and then green up in the fall to become beautiful cool season meadows.
  • The Town of Portola Valley ran a one year test of the four native sod mixes offered by Delta Blue Grass and found the mixes actually required 88% less water and half the mowing to keep it at play length than traditional sod.
  • We chose two of the blends for our site the Native Bentgrass for the “lawn” areas and the Native Mow Free for the perimeter areas:
    • Native Bentgrass™/agrostis pallens
      • Medium leaf texture
      • Thrives in full sun and partial shade
      • Withstands low mowing heights
      • Strong sod mat provides effective weed barrier
      • Extremely drought tolerant
      • Uniform growth habit
      • Excellent wear recovery due to self repairing rhizomes
    • Native Mow Free™/Molate blue fescue/Idaho fescue/Western Mokelumne fescue
      • Contains two native fine fescues and one highly naturalized variety.
      • Excellent shade and cold tolerance.
      • Deep green glossy leaves.
      • Slow growing, narrow leafed grass with blades that are very lax and flexuous.
      • Provides soil stabilization for sloped areas.
      • Can be maintained as a turf lawn or left unmowed.
The Project