3 natural, non-synthetic approaches to lawn replacement

940 Calle Amanecer Suite 'H',

 San Clemente, CA 92673

'Kurapia'- Utility Groundcover

Kurapia Ground Cover residential lawn replacement front yard

Residential Lawn Replacement

Kurapia Ground Cover close up flowers and bees

Ground Cover with Flowers

Kurapia Ground Cover parks and public places field with flowers

Parks & Public Places

Kurapia Ground Cover commercial and utility spaces in n out parking lot

Commercial & Utility Spaces

Kurapia Ground Cover pavers, paths, and walkways bricks

Pavers, Paths, & Walkways

Kurapia Ground Cover slopes and erosion control back yard

Slopes & Erosion Control

'Kurapia' is a selection of a herbaceous groundcover, Lippia nodiflora. It is evergreen, and well-suited as a lawn alternative, requiring about 75% less water than many turf grasses, and minimal maintenance. 'Kurapia' takes light foot traffic only, and is a great selection when the green look of a lawn is desired, but in an area that will not get a lot of repeat wear. 'Kurapia' is also excellent on slopes, providing for erosion control and weed abatement. From residential lawns to commercial landscapes and parks to retention basins, 'Kurapia' gets the job done with minimal water.

Kurapia Ground Cover growing climates map California and Arizona

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

When should I plant?

'Kurapia' may be planted year round, but optimal fill in will occur during the growing season, from March through September. Planting from April (after frost) through June (before the heat of summer) may be considered optimal when possible, but 'Kurapia' in fact may be planted year round. Best results will come from planting during the growing season, from March through September, though when necessary, 'Kurapia' may be planted on into late fall and winter. At this time, growth will slow down, and the plantings should be mulched to reduce the incidence of weeds. 'Kurapia' is adapted to USDA climate zones of 7b and higher. In regions where average daily temperatures remain above 45 °F, 'Kurapia' will stay evergreen through winter; however, growth will gradually decrease and enter semi-dormancy when average daily temperatures fall to around 38 °F. 'Kurapia' has been known to survive temperatures as low as 20 °F. These temperatures are provided as estimates, as 'Kurapia' greenness, dormancy, and survival will depend upon specific location and environmental factors.

Kurapia Ground Cover when to plant

How many plugs do I need?

We provide 'Kurapia' plugs in a 72 count tray. Plugs are 1½” wide by 2” deep. We generally recommend spacing the plugs on 18” centers; closer spacing will result in faster fill in, and for slopes we recommend planting on 15” centers or less to minimize soil erosion during establishment. Planting on greater than 18” centers is not recommended, delaying fill-in time and allowing for weed pressure in bare areas.

To calculate the number of plugs required for a designated area, take the planting area in square feet and multiply in times the conversion factor of 0.44 (for spacing 18” on center), then divide by 72 (the number of plugs in a tray). For example, for 328 sf, multiply that area x .44:  328sf x .44 = 144 plugs / 72 = 2 trays.

For efficiency purposes, we do not split plug trays, so if your area of coverage falls between full tray counts, you may choose to round up or down, either closing in the spacing or stretching it out.  For example, if your planting area is 268 sf, 268 x .44 = 118 plugs, or 1.64 plug trays. In this case we would recommend rounding up to two trays; the extra plugs may be planted closer together in areas where faster coverage may be desired; for example, sloping areas or a section that may be either in poorer quality soil or in more shade.

Kurapia Ground Cover how many plugs to plant

How do I prepare the site?

While 'Kurapia' will tolerate a range of soil types, it will establish faster in sandy or sandy loam soils. For heavy clay or compacted, hardpan soils, loosening the top 4” of soil and adding organic matter will help insure adequate aeration and drainage. Taking a bit extra time for preparation is worth it, and will enhance fill-in time! 

Prior to planting, all weeds should be removed by hand or killed with a non-selective herbicide. RoundUp (glyphosphate) is one such chemical; consult with your local garden center and follow label instructions. For planting sites that have been neglected and may also have a large population of weed seeds in the soil, use of a pre-emergent herbicide can help reduce weed seedlings that will come naturally when such areas receive irrigation, but pre-emergent herbicides need be applied a good 4 months before 'Kurapia' plug planting so as not to inhibit plug establishment.

If 'Kurapia' is being used as a lawn replacement and invasive grasses such as Bermuda or Kikuyu are present, but sure to consult with your local garden center or a good internet reference as to how to properly get rid of these invasive grasses, which can spread below ground, above ground, and by seed. Don’t know if you have Bermuda or Kikuyu? Again, you may consult with your local garden center or a good online reference.

How do I plant the plugs?

Make sure that plugs are well-watered before planting, either by hand watering well or by a brief soaking of the plug trays in a sink or large container.

Dig a hole that is twice the diameter of the plug, and about twice as deep. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT; plug soil not surrounded by landscape soil will dry out quickly, reducing chances of survival. Equally important, be sure to place the plug in the bottom of the hole: leaving an air pocket below plugs (no soil contact at base) can lead to plugs drying out severely.

Place plug in hole and lightly pack loose soil around the plug, exposing 90% of the foliage above soil level (see drawing below). Make sure that the whole plug is below soil level to avoid desiccation. It is fine to step lightly on the newly planted plug, to insure good soil contact. We do not recommend mulching at time of plug planting, which can slow down the 'Kurapia' runner growth that spreads between the plugs and fills in these spaces. If mulching is necessary at planting to maintain surface soil moisture during hot summers, see details further below in MULCHING section.

NOTE: Rabbits will find the new 'Kurapia' plugs just as tasty as a number of other garden plants, and may chew the exposed leaves down to a nub. If it is not practical to provide temporary fencing around the planting area (or perhaps a dog!), See mulch recommendations below.

Kurapia Ground Cover Plugs Planting Depth

More questions? Check out our detailed PDF