Iowa Stormwater Education Program

Native Turf

Native turf features a blend of low-growing native or warm-season grasses that provide a lawn-like appearance.  It does not green up as early in the growing season as the cool season grass most dominant in lawns, blue-grass.  It does however thrive during the long, hot days of summer when other turf browns up in response to the hot, dry conditions.

Native turf does not need fertilization or watering after the deep, fibrous root systems are established which help build and maintain soil quality.  Irrigation is needed during the first, and possibly the second, year to ensure good establishment; but after root development has been achieved, no additional irrigation will be necessary.   Mowing on native turf plantings could be eliminated, and the height of the vegetation would stay in the 8 to 18-inch range. Or, mowing could be done on a limited basis (once a month or less). 

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