JOHN GREENLEE'S NOTES
If this isn’t the holy grail of native meadow grasses for the west coast, I will hang up my hat! This clone of our native creeping wild rye is one of the best forms of this grass we’ve ever come across. I discovered this beautiful grass on a client’s ranch north of Santa Cruz. I’ve studied this grass species in nature from San Diego to Mount Shasta and by far, my variety here is the one with the most compact form and the most uniform green color. For more than 20 years, I’ve used it as a meadow lawn and orchard understory. And now, I’ve made it available for homeowners and landscapers!
Many inland forms of Leymus are 3′ tall, silvery blue, and floppy. Delta forms can be 4′ tall and floppy. LAGUNITA®, however, is just the right height at 10-16″, just the right green and extremely adaptable. It can be mowed as a meadow lawn, or left unmown as one of the hardiest of sod-forming grasses.
LAGUNITA® is the base groundcover grass for most of our large-scale meadow installations. It can be an aggressive grower if pushed with water and fertilizer, but it’s better behaved in dryer settings and when it’s planted in combination with flowering grasses, accent bulbs, and perennials. A unique aspect of the colony-forming grass is that it rarely flowers and doesn’t set viable seed. This characteristic keeps it uniform and tidy with little care, except for occasional cutbacks.
Discovered by John Greenlee himself on a client's ranch north of Santa Cruz, CA.
Spacing: In the right conditions, planting plugs 12" on-center can be a solid turf in 60-120 days. Plant them closer for faster fill-in.
Maintenance: Cut anytime to renew foliage. Cut in late spring to enhance summer drought tolerance.
Coastal: 1st - 3rd exposure.
Desert: Tolerates high desert (with ample water). Low desert is yet to be tested.
Underwater: Tolerant of brief periods underwater in seasonal flooding and riparian conditions. This quality of tolerating both wet and dry conditions make it valuable in bioswales and bioremediation projects.
GROWING & MOWING
Leymus triticoides LAGUNITA® does not generally set viable seed and is not grown by seed suppliers so growing this way is not recommended. For quick establishment and uniform plantings, plugs, pots, or bare-root divisions are preferred over gallon-sized cans.
Leymus triticoides LAGUNITA® is currently being tested as a 'mowed lawn'. It has been tested at a 4" maintained height and on going studies will determine its suitability for mowing height at 1"-2". Leymus triticoides LAGUNITA® is easy to mow with a conventional mower or string trimmer making it far easier than its densely clumping or tall native grass cousins.
DISEASE & PEST RESISTANCE
Remarkably disease and pest-free, Leymus triticoides LAGUNITA® can get foliar rust under certain moist coastal conditions but it is only a temporary cosmetic effect as an orangish blush. Rust if occurs usually disappear without treatment of any kind with the onset of sunny weather; Leymus triticoides LAGUNITA® is tolerant of inundation and brief period under water in seasonal flooding and riparian conditions. No root rot has ever been recorded in established plantings. This quality or tolerating both wet and dry conditions make it valuable in bioswales and bioremediation.