Nassella / Stipa tenuissima too aggressive to plant in SA landscape? #346064 - Ask Extension

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Nassella / Stipa tenuissima too aggressive to plant in SA landscape? #346064

Asked July 24, 2016, 8:57 AM EDT

I am considering using  Nassella / Stipa tenuissima
in a flowerbed in my front yard.  I currently use palisade zoysia grass for my lawn.  I have been reading that mexican feather grass is considered invasive, but I have been seeing it used in beds around San Antonio.  Should I be concerned that it will take root in the zoysia grass?  Next question, will it hurt to let the zoysia go brown in the summer, my water bill is killing me to keep it green?  Third, is there a native grass alternative to zoysia or st augustine that i should consider for my lawn or in a future lawn?

Bexar County Texas

Expert Response

Hello,

I have never heard or seen Mexican feather grass in this part of the state be 'invasive'?

I think, it would preform well as a large clump planting in a well prepared soil and plants that are kept mulched.

It shouldn't root in your zoysia lawn.

If your lawn has been maintained correctly throughout the year with proper mowing, adequate nutrition, core aerated and lawn dressed every third year and water used correctly and wisely, the challenge of drought survivability from mid-June through mid-September should not be an issue.

We use and safe water nine months in our landscape to be used as a backup through the three hottest months of the year.

Watering an inch a week during these summer months is all that is needed for surviving.  Adjust our landscape watering if we get a significant rain event.  12 inches or less during that time frame is very reasonable. Remeber, the lawn isn't going to grow or look as nice or green in the summer as it would in the spring or fall.

David Rodriguez -Extension Horticulturist
Texas A & M AgriLife Extension Service
Bexar County/San Antonio


David Rodriguez Replied July 25, 2016, 11:11 AM EDT

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