Dichondra Seed (Dichondra Repens) -
Dichondra is a small leafed matting perennial native to the southeastern
states, has received considerable attention in recent years as a lawn
substitute or ground cover in the South and on the West Coast in the
U.S., in Greece, Italy and Spain. Dichondra is also known as lawn leaf
or pony foot, Dichondra spreads by under ground runners or stolons. The
small kidney shaped leaves, about a half inch across, have a tendency to
grow somewhat larger, with longer stems, in shade. In its massed
effect, dichondra has the appearance of clover, and the resulting thick
sod is usually 1.5 - 2 inches high. Dichondra is surprisingly tolerant
as far as various types of soil are concerned, and has proved to be
successful in both the sun and shade.
Seed Rate: 1.5 to 2 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.
Seed Depth: 1/4 inch
Planting Time: Spring, Summer
Fertilizer: 1/2 to 1 lb. per 1000 sq. ft.
Mowing: 1/2 to 1 inch
pH: 5.5 - 6.2
Dichondra can be grown from seed very easily. The recommended seeding rate for coated Dichondra is 3 pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet. The best time to sow Dichondra is from March through May; midsummer planting will germinate faster but will need careful, frequent waterings. Planting early will produce sturdy root systems that can take mid-summer heat and some water stress.
For New Lawns:
Prepare the seed bed as you would for a new grass lawn. Dichondra seeds sown in spring do not need mulch; just rake the seed gently and roll it with a light roller. If you sow in the summer, use just enough of a light mulch of damp peat moss to cover. This will help keep the seedbed moist. DO NOT LET THE SEEDBED DRY OUT !!!
Caring for Dichondra Lawns:
Dichondra needs as much care as most grass lawns for a neat appearance. It needs regular, thorough waterings to maintain a deep root system, especially during hot weather. It also prefers frequent light fertilizing. Fertilize with the lightest application recommended, according to label directions, once every 2 to 3 weeks.
Depending on what you want your Dichondra lawn to look like, you can mow it frequently, seldom or not at all. Grown in full sun and given lots of use, Dichondra stays low and even, needing mowing infrequently, if ever. Dichondra grown in the shade or given little use may need frequent mowing to give it an even appearance.
Mowing to 3/4” height (higher during hot weather to avoid stress) will encourage a small leafed, even Dichondra lawn, but you will need to mow it regularly. You can mow at a 1-1/2 to 2” height more infrequently; this will promote a less consistent texture and leaves of varying sizes.
If you mow Dichondra too close, you’ll get a scalped look; top dress it with a light mulch to help it come back.
Dichondra flea beetle can devastate Dichondra lawns. The first signs of the disease are browning leaves with engraved lines where tissue has been gnawed. To control, apply diazinon as soon as possible, following label directions carefully.
The best weed control is simply to keep you Dichondra lawn growing so luxuriantly that weeds cannot get a root hold. If you do find weeds, hand pull them before they have a chance to spread. If you decide to use chemical weed controls, it is very important to purchase a product especially formulated for use on specific Dichondra lawn weeds. Follow the label directions exactly, as Dichondra can be considered a broad-leafed weed and general broad-leafed weed chemicals would also kill Dichondra.