Landscaping & Design/Question


Good day
Are there any low cost ground covers that eliminate the need for moving. What are examples of one that spread fast but do not grow beyond 18 inches.

The classic lawn-substitution plant here is a called "Buffalo Grass" (Bouteloua dactyloides), though I don't know it is available in your area. Trinidad? But not the one in Colorado, right?!  Buffalo Grass is planted in plugs, and once it fills in does not require mowing.  Google it for images & suppliers.  It does well in low-water, and alkali soil situations, recommended for low maintenance and low use turf grass areas, and is a "warm-season" grass like Bermuda, and will turn brown in frosty areas -- Not a problem, I suspect, for Trinidad.

As plant materials are usually driven by the zones that they can grow in, I don't know what USDA climate zone Trinidad falls under.  I suspect it is a zone 11, like Hawaii.

A substiute popular for Hawaii is Mondo grass (Ophiopogon species).  A discussion of some varieties is here:

Mondo Grass is actually a member of the lily family, and does well in shady locations.

There are an assortment of flowering, clumping, and vining alternatives (like moss, thyme, yarrow, chamomile) that may also work for you.  Here is a pretty exhaustive list:

There are good reasons that the bladed grasses are so exceptional, as they are hard to kill in heavy-traffic locations. As you have discovered, their primary drawback is lots of mowing!

I hope these suggestions help! ~m

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Marc Chapelle, RLA


I am a licensed Landscape Architect. I can answer general questions about style and design, give you ideas and suggestions for site amenities, help with larger site-planning issues, or perhaps give guidance for recreational amenities & park design. IF YOU ARE GOING TO ASK FOR A PLANT SUGGESTION GO HERE: I prefer you ask somebody else why your petunias are not as perky as they should be; I'd LOVE to tell you how those petunias can increase your home's value!


20+ years of working with homeowners, contractors, developers and local civil engineering/architecture firms. I am located in the dry Great Basin area (Greater Nevada/Utah), so the use of landscape materials OTHER than plants is emphasized. As a licensed Landscape Architect I've worked on both the East and West Coasts.


BSLA in Landscape Architecture,Licensed in NV, CA, & VA - but can answer Q's across the country Many additional seminars, educational venues, and classes (both taught & attended)

Awards and Honors
Best Multifamily project, Reno/Sparks Builder's Association Best Model Home Landscaping, Reno/Sparks Builder's Association

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