Korean No- Mow Grass

Korean grass

I am eager to fix my front lawn this season.  My plan is to get a new lawn established before the weeds even think about growing, and with that in mind I seeded yesterday.  It happens that even though much of my grass is still buried in a lot of snow — the area that needs to be fixed up isn’t.
I’m hoping to take advantage of the sopping wetness and the relative lack of birds (they haven’t all come back yet) and I am defying mother nature to dump another couple of feet of snow on us (I know, I am askign for it!)

My new grass will be the standard fare….but I am wishing that I could grow Zoysia Tenuifolia.  This grass is know by a few common names –

  • Korean Velvet Grass
  • No Mow Grass
  • Mascarene Grass
  • Temple Grass

Most of the time it is used in Asian gardens and it is really nice planted between rocks.  The down side is that it doesn’t love the really cold temps, it is very slow growing and it is slow to green back up in the spring.   But if you live in a dry place where the grass doesn’t really brown, and you are up for something a little different, then this is a prime choice for you.  It is drought tolerant and my favorite part is naturally occurring lumpy humps that kind of grow over things.


Can you imagine rolling around on this grass….it would give you a back massage!

Screen Shot 2013-03-15 at 7.12.35 AMNot having grown this, I am curious to know more from the front lines of gardners who are cultivating it.  If you grow Zoysia Tenuifolia, tell us — it is as cool as it looks?

images from Tranquil Havens 


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5 Responses to Korean No- Mow Grass

  1. I haven’t grown it myself, but it’s the grass I plan to put in when I redo the yard. A neighbor has it, and whenever I walk the dog, he positively bounces with joy to be able to run on it. I’ve snuck a feel with a bare foot, and it’s wonderfully silky and smooth. We’re in Central FL, (Zone 9b), and it stands up well to the mid-summer heat and sub-tropical sun. Beautiful color and fine, shiny leaves.

  2. Wonder why it’s called Korean grass, if as you say it doesn’t like extremely cold temperatures — Korea is known for intensely harsh winters, and extremely hot summers.

    Wonder if this would grow in temperate (but dry) Northern CA?

  3. rtuko – I think this stuff is made for temperate dry environments….it actually does survive the cold — but because it takes so long to green back up, I think it it less popular than others that recover faster. If I were in Northern CA I think I would certainly give it a go.

  4. I have no personal experience with this lawn substitute but when I did a Facebook post on it, I heard from a number of Californian designers who said it doesn’t work well north of San Francisco and I think it was David Feix who said it grows so slowly that he prefers some Carex varieties to it.

  5. My parents have had it in their yard since the 70s. It is very spiky and you would absolutely not roll around on it. When we were kids, we used to dare each other to walk on it barefoot. It was the part of the yard nobody could play on because if you fell, you had to touch it. It does grow well in San Diego and it really does tolerate drought well. My dad has been placing plugs of it all over his yard in hopes that someday he will not have to mow anymore. It grows slowly but it does not die easily.

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