Jay Angler wrote:I've just been reading, "the soil will save us - how scientists, farmers, and foodies are healing the soil to save the planet" by Kristin Ohlson. In Chapter 4 she gives an example of an American farmer who plants fields of polycultures as animal and human forage where the tallest plant is a sunflower. Having done this for about 15 years now, he can push a moisture meter easily down 4 ft. That's an example of how deeply we can get water infiltrating if we heal the soil through simple techniques such as no-till, cover-crops, and planting a wide variety of plants. An interesting byproduct of his management was that the insect quantity and variability has sky-rocketed. These insects are in balance with the plants - the farmer uses no insecticides, and the insects actually eat many weed seeds, keeping less desirable plants under control. These are things people can do even on urban yards to conserve water. Planting bulbs and deep rooted flowers is a great first step in a location where things need to look "neat".
Tyler Ludens wrote:I have been maintaining my dad's Augustine grass lawn in town for a couple years now using his "almost complete neglect" philosophy. I think I only watered it a couple times this year, and only in spots that get too much sun. I always mow on the highest setting. A couple parts of the lawn get too much sun to survive without irrigation, so this Fall I plan to install a native and xeriscape plants garden in those spots, using plants from my own garden that should do well there. I'm excited about this project. I think it will add a lot of interest to his rather dull yard.
Gray Henon wrote:I cut up 40 sq ft of Myers Zoyzia sod and planted it around our small lawn 10 years ago. I has just about filled in and it is amazing grass. Looks like turf type fescue, but holds up much better to summer heat. I sprinkle the grill ashes on it and that is it for fertilizer/lime. It grows slower than fescue and requires less mowing. It does brown out in the winter, but stays thick and doesn't turn to mud.
Bob Gallamore wrote:We are still building but have had several conversations about lawn. I want to have nothing but mounds with wild flowers and plants, then put in river rock or wood chip pathways among the beds. She wants a lawn. I suspect we will compromise and have something in between. I like you eco-lawn idea because I don't want to be mowing all the time. I also like this idea for the grassy area on the south side of our property between the tree line and the road. I'm good with letting the natural grasses and wildflowers grow wild, but the property developer likes to come around every few weeks and mow it as short as possible. I understand that he is trying to keep the area "attractive" so he can sell the rest of the lots in the area, so I guess I'm going to have to educate him about different kinds of attractive.