Where to Buy Turf
There are many sources of plant materials for River-Friendly lawns, which require less water and mowing than conventional lawns. Seed is by far the cheapest route, but remember that weed seeds germinate at the same time, so try to eliminate the weed seed population before planting. Generally, native grasses are best seeded. Plugs and liners are more expensive, but are a great way to go for species that spread fairly quickly. Pre-emergence herbicides can help get them established and some selective post-emergence herbicides can be used until they fill in, but hopefully the turf is dense and healthy enough where herbicides are not needed thereafter. Plugs and liners are used exclusively for UC Verde buffalograss and Carex, as can also be used for native grasses. Sod for tall fescue blends is fairly cheap, and most weed seeds have a hard time germinating through it. Native grass sod is expensive, but it can pay for itself over time with less weeding during establisment than seeding, and less watering and mowing than tall fescue.
Tall fescue blends can be purchased as seed or sod from many common suppliers, including nurseries, big box hardware stores, and specialty sod and seed companies. Tall fescue sod for this project was donated by Delta Bluegrass Company in Stockton.
UC Verde buffalograss plugs can be purchased through Florasource Ltd., who donated the plugs used in this project.
Carex species are available at several nurseries as plugs, 2 1/4-inch liners, and larger containers (as ornamentals in the landscape). Plugs are cheapest, but liners provide a slightly more established plant that can spread quicker. C. praegracilis liners used in this project were donated by Native Sons Wholesale Nursery in Arroyo Grande, and C. pansa liners were provided at a discount by Hedgerow Farms in Winters; many Carex species are also available locally at Cornflower Farms in Elk Grove.
California native grasses. Several species of native grass appear to be excellent for turf. They are available as seed, plugs, and sod. Much of the seed for this project was donated by Pacific Coast Seed Inc. in Livermore. Plugs for the turf and meadow and some of seed were provided at a discount by Hedgerow Farms in Winters. Native grass sod sections used in this project were donated by Delta Bluegrass Company.