Dichondra in a shaded area
Managing Lawns In Shaded Areas With Dichondra
Many lawns which encroach into shaded areas around homes are often left to die away as the amount of available sunlight decreases in these areas. This is most noticeable with the more often used lawn types such as Couch and Kikuyu which are more shade intolerant than some other grass types, which often will not grow into areas where the sun doesn't shine.
And it's at these times when we look for an alternative to fill in those lawn bare spots where the grass dies away and leaves unsightly bare soil in its place in shaded areas.
Using Another Grass Type For Shade
Some homeowners may first think of planting another grass in place of the current grass being used. Now this can be expensive, and if the homeowner is happy with the grass at their property there really is no reason to go to this extreme.
Another option may be to Companion Plant another more shade tolerant grass such as Buffalo into the areas which are most subject to and affected by the shaded conditions.
However, the only problem with companion planting another grass such as Buffalo into shaded areas is that Buffalo doesn't just tolerate some shade, it likes full sun just like all other lawns do. So over time, the Buffalo will continue to encroach on your original lawn and continue to blend in and mix without fully dominating the lawn which was there first. And in most cases this will only look messy and untidy for years, as both lawn types grow together..
Dichondra - The Perfect Shade Companion
Dichondra is a small ground hugging and lively spreading plant with small kidney shaped leaves. It can be walked on and mowed just like grass can, without suffering any ill effects. Dichondra will never grow high or develop thatch like grass does, and while it does like to spread itself, it is always easily controlled.
But the very best thing about Dichondra is that it loves the shade and hates the sun.
This means we can plant Dichondra in areas of the lawn which are subjected to the heaviest shade, and it will spread and flourish in all the places where the lawn will refuse to grow. But at the very places where sunlight is abundant and the lawn is flourishing, the Dichondra will spread no further.
This means Dichondra will never fight your lawn in an attempt to take it over. Where the sun shines, the lawn will grow and the Dichondra will not, and where the shade begins - the Dichondra will flourish and the lawn will not.
Dichondra and lawns really are perfect partners.
More About Dichondra
Dichondra has a kidney shaped leaf which is between 15 - 30 mm in diameter, which is why this lovely plant is often called Kidney Weed. It will develop beautiful white flowers throughout most of the warmer months which also lay close to the ground which add a stunning cottage feel to lawns and gardens, and which often visually blends both lawns and gardens together in a vey pleasing manner.
Dichondra can be purchased in seed, seed punnets and pots from your local garden nursery.