Xericstyle

Xeric and stylish gardening in San Antonio, Texas

Frogfruit “lawn” Report @ 2.5 months

frogfruit filled inThe frogfruit “lawn” I plugged 2.5 months ago, turned out to be a frogfruit and horseherb “lawn.”  Thanks to all the rains this spring, we have complete coverage already!  Weeds are a problem, hence both the frogfruit and horseherb (among a few others).close-up

Pros (as I currently see them):

-I have a solid groundcover to prevent erosion, shade the earth, attract wildlife…

-My kids love running in it.

-I have a large green negative space to allow your eyes to rest and make the surrounding gardens “pop”

-This area requires very little water, if any…I have not watered it in the last 2 months at all, BUT we have had a lot of rain.

-This area needs to be mowed rarely, and only when I want a more “polished” look.  Oh, and I use our old reel mower, which surprised me works well on it!

Cons (as I currently see them):

-URGH!  I did not think about the fact I would have other noxious seedy weeds and the seeds get tracked on my granite patios.

-I am just not sold on the look yet.

I will continue to keep y’all updated.  I plan to use corn gluten and mow to discourage the nasty weeds and keep the ones I want.  I am not sure if the frogfruit will win the battle, but I hope so…

What do y’all think???? …suggestions welcome!

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15 Comments

  1. I am avidly following the progress of the ‘frogfruit’ Phylla nodiflora, I want to be able to recommend it to friends here. With hindsight you should probably have waited for the first crop of weeds to grow after you prepared the soil, or even the second crop and then planted; but I would probably have done just like you. Once it really gets going it will crowd out other weeds, its just going to need some help to begin with. Thanks for the report. Christina

    • I wish I was not so eager!!!! I think you are absolutely right about how I could have done this project more successfully. Ah….next time, right!? Such is life! – xericstyle

  2. It looks a lot like mine minus the frogfruit. If the kids are enjoying it and it’s green, I’d declare the area done and move on to other projects. It looks good and you can always revisit it in the future as you get a chance to check out other options.

    You will get weeds in the gravel no matter what you have surrounding it. We had DG out by the street with just rocks and concrete around it and it attracted weeds from far and wide.

    • Thanks Shirley, I really needed to hear that. I am not going to get stuck on it…as I do have a lot of other things I need/want to get done. I would love to get those flagstones on the granite that is for sure!!!! I think that would help a lot. -xericstyle

  3. It looks pretty good from a distance. You know, you may have lucked into a pretty good combination with frogfruit and horseherb. I guess time will tell.

    It looks like you have purslane and spurge in there. Both produce lots of seeds. You may want to invest a few hours (days?) pulling out as many of the weeds as possible. I assume you know corn gluten meal works as a pre-emergent for unsprouted seeds and acts as a nitrogen fertilizer for sprouted plants.

    Frogfruit seems to grow shorter and denser when it gets foot traffic so letting the kids play on it may help with the weeds. Another option to consider is to let the frogfruit and horseherb grow longer until the weeds are under control. It could help to shade out the weeds. My frogfruit is now 16 inches high, weed free and will not be cut until next spring. I would actually like it a little shorter but it is too difficult to trim it because I have a few shrubs growing in the area.

    Good luck. I am sure it will look great in time. I am amazed at how good it looks in this short time.

    • Thank you for the GREAT suggestions Michael – I loved the picture Shirley shared with me of your frogfruit so I will try what you said! And yes…purslane GRRRRRrrrrrrrr but I am happy to know the name of the other weed – thank you. SPURGE IS THE WORST! Is it me or does it seed out in days??!!!! Rain, weed, seeds by the million in a few days! I will try letting it grow longer….I am willing to try anything at this point. CHEERS! -xericstyle

  4. I applaud your go at an alternative “lawn.” I grew frog fruit in my flower beds tr last few years and ended up ripping it all out this winter because it was just so strangling to the perennials around it. So my experience would say that in a year or two the frog fruit will choke out any weed seedlings.

    It will look cool when it blooms. I do like its flowers and so do butterflies and bees.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Curtis. And I appreciate you sharing your experience….fingers crossed!!!! -xericstyle

  5. Desert Dweller

    I thought it looked pretty good, and reading the other comments, I think you are onto something. Patience…

    • Thank you Yoda ;)….Patience schmatience….urgh… ;) -xericstyle

  6. Interesting idea! That’s one I haven’t seen before but I’m interested to see how it progresses.

    • COOOOOOOooooool! Thank you Misti!!!! -xericstyle

  7. Wow – what a great post, Heather. Thank you!! I was thinking of going this route and stumbled upon your experiment. I think both plants are lovely and look forward to trying this myself if I can find enough plants to plugin. Do you mind me asking where you got your frog fruit?

    • Hey, thank you Teresa :). I’ve seen it recently at rainbow gardens on bandera rd. I’d call shades of green first, because they often have it in 4″ pots and they are the BEST and cheapest 4″ pots in town. – xericstyle

      • P.S. I would not do it again in full sun… -xericstyle

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