Grass & Water
Second of eight stories in the Yard Notes series, in loving memory of my father. I live in the house of my childhood. Working in the yard has brought back lots of memories, and eco-lessons for the present.
Date: 9/5/2007 2:10:00 AM ( 14 y ) ... viewed 4059 times
Grass & Water
For many years Dad tried to nurture the delicate dichondra lawn that he planted, but at some point in time long since forgotten he gave up and let the “grass” become what it is today: an eclectic mix of weeds, clover, and hardy “crab” grass. For the past few years I have not watered the grass, and let it die to an ugly brown in the spring and summer. It resurrects itself come fall with the first of the rains. I did this as a protest to all of the water-wasters in the neighborhood, the ones with nice, lush, green lawns who have their automatic sprinklers systems that turn on every morning and evening, and let the sprinklers run until the water runs down their sidewalks and driveways and fills the gutters in the street. One next-door neighbor is the water-waster supreme. Due to a broken sprinkler that spouts water every morning like a geyser, his gutter run-off goes the length of two houses in either direction.
Ironically, the other next-door neighbor is more of a zealot than I am. He neither waters nor mows his lawn, and he does not have a gardener. He does very little yard work himself, either, and his yard is always wild and overgrown. So every summer, when both our lawns look their worst, I take comfort in the fact that a civic-minded community member won’t leave a note on my door telling me my home is a neighborhood eyesore, because the neighbor’s yard looks worse. Whereas his grass is brown, overgrown and unkempt, my grass, dead-looking as it is, is kept neat and trimmed by the gardeners. One summer, I caught the gardeners actually trying to mow the dead grass when there was nothing to mow. They succeeded in kicking up quite a lot of dirt and dust. I had to ask them to stop mowing and just edge it instead. I guess they wanted to prove their monies-worth by keeping busy.
A few winters ago, over 35 inches of rain fell, compared to the usual annual 9 to 11 inches of rainfall in this Southern California desert area. The lawn was lush and green, and some of Dad’s dichondra grass was actually growing among the weeds. Because the grass looked so nice, even I succumbed to the strange Southern California addiction of green-lawn fever, and that spring I tried to keep it green for a while longer. The old sprinkler system that Dad put in himself years ago had been broken for some years, and before she became ill Mom used to water the grass by hand. I bought one of those oscillating sprinklers that you attach to the hose, where the sprinkler moves the water back and forth, back and forth—only the “back and forth” motion soon quit and the water only went in one direction. I put this contraption on the front lawn (the back yard had no lawn to speak of, except the random weed here and there), and ran it for 20 minutes—10 minutes on each end of the lawn.
I stood there, watching it, making sure the water pressure was low enough so that the water sprinkles didn’t hit the sidewalk or the driveway, and the water didn’t run off the grass down the slope of the yard onto the sidewalk. I watered once a week. I guess it’s wasn’t enough, as despite my efforts the grass showed signs of brown spotting. The only part that remained freshly green-looking was the grass adjacent to the bottle-brush plant, because it caught some of the run-off from the drip hose. After several weeks, I gave up, and by summer Dad’s dichondra was gone and what was left of the “grass” was dead-brown again.
Oh, well. The neighbor’s grass still looked worse.
Yard Notes Introduction: First Things First http://curezone.com/blogs/m.asp?f=309&i=425
First of eight stories in the Yard Notes series: Tools & Sweat: http://curezone.com/blogs/m.asp?f=309&i=426
Third story in the series: Dandelions & Snails http://curezone.com/blogs/m.asp?f=309&i=427
Fourth story: Trees & Fence http://curezone.com/blogs/m.asp?f=309&i=8
Fifth story: Berries & Concrete http://curezone.com/blogs/m.asp?f=309&i=9
Sixth story: Tree Dreams http://curezone.com/blogs/m.asp?f=309&i=428
Seventh story: Star Jasmine http://curezone.com/blogs/m.asp?f=309&i=429
Eighth story: Monster Plants http://curezone.com/blogs/m.asp?f=309&i=48
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