Xericstyle

Xeric and stylish gardening in San Antonio, Texas

Texas native Frogfruit “lawn” is in!

I got the Texas frogfruit lawn plugged this week.  I will try to take pictures at least monthly as it fills in.  I did not amend the soil at all.  I read over and over it was not necessary – I went against my nature on this, I hope it is okay.  I did ensure the area was nice and level and free of rocks and debris.  EEK… I am regretting going against my desire to spread a couple inches of compost out before planting.  I did not want to waste $ if I really did not need to amend.  So for me, and for y’all, I am really putting this plant to the test.

Frogfruit "lawn"

I plugged the plants approximately 2 to 3 feet on center.  I hope it fills in quickly.  How long do y’all think it will take until it is completely filled in and ready to walk on?  Michael, I would love to hear your answer on this please, and on the amending I did not do.Frogfruit up closeSuch a happy little plant.  A happy plant that makes me happy because when it fills in we will have a native “lawn” that we never have to mow and rarely ever have to water once established.frogfruit with sprinklerA lucky thing happened!  It only takes one placement of the sprinkler to water the entire green space.  I think this fact alone will help ensure the success of the “lawn.”  If I had to move that sprinkler a few times to water the entire space it would not work very well for me.  I am a lazy water-girl.  I think “one sprinkler position watering” could translate well for lawns or any large groundcover area.

I’ll touch base soon on the progress.  Oh and to those that want more details, to cover the area I purchased 6 flats of 20 per (120 plants) – I spent under $300.  If this works, $300 for a native lawn that should not need supplemental watering once established, seemed like a deal to me.  Good for me, good for the kids to play on, good for my sweet husband who now has zero lawn to mow, and most importantly good for Mother Earth.

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22 Comments

  1. My nature is to amend the soil as well. I am anxious to see how this progresses, please keep us all posted.

    • I know – I hope I don’t regret this. What if it does not take off as quick? AHHHHHhhhhhhhhh…oh well – what is done is done. I have to think positive now I guess! ;) I will keep ya posted for sure, thanks Charlie! -xericstyle

  2. Salma

    how long do you think it’ll take to fill in? Looks so neat and refined- the whole area. What’s next, the shed? How on earth are you going to make that one happen? at the pace you’re going, that’ll be… next weekend? i want to see all this in person!!! i’m not even comprehending the transformation… crazy!

    • How long do I think….well I would like to hope by fall…5 months is my goal or I’ll be plugging in more. I really have no clue, the scientist in you appreciates an experiment I KNOW so lets look at this like an experiment. I can take pictures and you can figure out the data ;) Veggie garden re-design is next on my list. Shed will be awhile and I am not making that happen – I will just make a phone call from the comfort of my a/c sometime in the summer…if I am lucky ;) ha! Looking forward to seeing you guys tomorrow – we can plan to have beers in our beer garden ASAP! Sorry I have been a hermit – so goal oriented on getting things done before the heat!!!!!!!!!!!! xo -xericstyle

  3. Yay! You got your frogfruit lawn in. It looks great and is going to look even better when it fills in. A lawn that is native, requires little water and is a host plant for butterflies = Winning:)

    PS I don’t think amending the soil would be necessary. I’ve seen this plant growing on the side of the highway. Please keep us posted on your frogfruit lawn experiment.

    • Thanks Steph :) And your comment re:amending is like music to my ears. I will certainly keep ya posted. – xericstyle

  4. I planted this as a ground cover in the triangular rose bed, a friend gave me one 9 inch pot, it now covers about 4 square yards at least and I also gave lots to a friend. I think the worst part of establishing it will be that weeds will grow until it has formed a thick mat and so you’ll have quite a lot of work for the first year or so but after that I think you’ll be very happy with it. Here it thins quite a lot in winter (you shouldn’t have that problem).
    I might be tempted to put some kind of mulch that might help reduce weeds until it has established. Christina

    • Good to hear and also, thank you for the suggestion, Christina. I have been thinking the same thing regarding the mulch but I have been also wondering if it will hinder the spreading? -xericstyle

  5. Desert Dweller

    Ooooh! Nice job again, overachiever. I tend to agree with not using compost in one way, but in another, to sustain a denser cover it or at least mulch might help. The idea to base the area on where one sprinkler can cover it is a good one, too. Fingers crossed for humidity, some clouds and rain until it establishes…

    • Well an overachiever comment from you is a huge compliment. :) Thank you. I think I will put a top dressing around the bases of the plants and the bare spots…or not. I guess it depends if I get around to it before things fill in. I’ll keep ya posted. In regards to the “one sprinkler position watering” – there is no need for anymore “lawn” than that around here. It will be nice to have a soft spot for the kids to run through the sprinkler, wrestle, throw the ball, etc etc. A lot of overcast days lately… hoping things fill in quickly…fingers crossed! -xericstyle

  6. jason jaworski

    and no lawn to mow! Congrats and good luck with this new lawn thingy!

    • Heeeeeeeee! Thanks JJ! -xericstyle

  7. OK, it has been a couple of days. Has the frogfruit filled in yet?
    I think I would probably spread a thin layer of compost around the plants and in the bare areas to help it spread faster. Once they start to send out runners, you may try putting a little compost or soil on top of the stems to see if they will root faster. All they need is soil contact and moisture to root. My guess is that most of the bare areas will be filled in three or four months if you give them some moisture to get established.
    Oh, in your last post you mentioned planting frogfruit on the berm for the kids to roll down. Rolling in frogfruit might not be a good idea when it is blooming because the flowers will be full of bees.

    • No, it has not filled in yet – what is up with that?! Ha! I will take your advice Michael, thank you. I was anxiously waiting on your reply. Also, thanks for the warning on the bees! I may have to come up with something else. Really? That many? I am glad we have no one with bee allergies around here! – xericstyle

  8. I’m like you — I tend to amend. But with a tough native like frogfruit, I’m sure it’ll be fine not to. Still, I like the idea of gently raking or shaking a little compost in the bare spaces between the plants to give them something yummy to latch onto as we move toward summer. I will be watching eagerly for more updates on your alternative lawn!

    • Thanks Pam – I need to get some compost fast. Man… I wish I had done it ahead of time…it drives me nuts I went against my instincts!-xericstyle

  9. I finally found a pot of frogfruit at the Master Gardener booth last weekend, and I am gonna use it to patch the lawn somewhere and see what happens. I am very curious to see how your lawn does. I think it’s a great idea!

    • OOOOooooooooooooo well you keep me posted too then please – exciting! -xericstyle

    • Are you going to amend????

  10. Very cool. Doing something similar here in PA by using Sedum ‘Acre’ in our curb strips…. shocking the neighbors for sure ;)
    Love your blog!
    ~Julie

  11. MARY MUNDY

    Did anybody hear how her frog fruit lawn turned out? Is February 28 now and I’m trying to get one put in here in Austin in a rent house yard that was just clay soil and weeds. I’m not a amending the soul but I did put compost in the bottom of each hole. I was wondering how often to water it we are not having rain. Mixing it with horse herb. I got a lot of sun so I didn’t know which to plant. Thanks

    • Hi Mary- my ‘weed lawn’ is still kicking but the frogfruit has died off in the sunniest spots- I think because my husband mowed too short. It never looked as good as I envisioned due to other weed invasion. I am re-doing this area with something else at some point. I hope that helps.- xericstyle

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