Dichondra grows as a lush ground cover in USDA zones 9 through 11. Many people use dichondra instead of grass in lawns because it grows readily in full sunlight. With deep watering and regular fertilization, dichondra will grow into an attractive lawn. One caveat–dichondra will not withstand extensive foot traffic. Choose this ground cover for areas that you do not use heavily.
Prepare the planting area in the spring. Use the rototiller or garden spade to work the soil down to a depth of approximately 6 inches. Remove any stones, rocks or sticks that you find in the soil. Add the granular nitrogen to the growing area, using 1 lb. for each 1,000 square feet of planting area. Use the garden spade to work the nitrogen into the soil. Rake the surface of the soil smooth with the rake.
Spread the dichondra seeds over the prepared planting area. Use 1 lb. of seeds for every 500 square feet for a heavy seeding or use 1 lb. of seeds for every 1,000 square feet for a light seeding. Rake the seeds into the soil so that the seeds have adequate contact with the soil.
Cover the seeds lightly with a thin layer of peat moss and water the seeds evenly and lightly with the hose. Water the seeds three to five times each day to ensure they stay adequately moist during germination.
Watch for the seeds to germinate within one to two weeks after planting. Approximately one week after the seeds germinate, begin to allow the soil to dry out somewhat between watering. As you decrease the watering frequency, increase the water amount so that you are watering less often but deeper.
Fertilize the dichondra with approximately 1 lb. of water-soluble nitrogen. Only fertilize when the dichondra foliage is dry. After adding the fertilizer to the plants, spray the foliage with the hose to ensure the fertilizer penetrates the soil and to remove any fertilizer from the foliage.
Water if the weather is dry; however, do not water dichondra often. Dichondra benefits from infrequent, deep watering because this helps the roots to grow deep into the soil.
Mow the dichondra if you desire; however, it is not mandatory. Set the lawnmower to mow between 1.5 and 2 inches during the growing season and mow once or twice per month. Reduce the height to ¾-inch during the cool months to create denser growth.