Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Watching Grass Grow: Week 1

I didn't really understand the phrase "watching grass grow" until I started a new lawn. It's been a week and a half and it still looks the same as it did the day we planted it. I stare at it several times a day, looking for signs of new growth in the plugs, and see nothing.

This is an experimental lawn with the UC Verde clone of buffalo grass (Bouteloua dactyloides) instead of the Bermuda grass that is usually planted. The UC Verde buffalo grass supposedly requires less water than Bermuda and less mowing. If it works as promised, it will need watering once every two weeks and mowing once a month or less. Compared to Bermuda grass and its twice-weekly watering and thrice-weekly mowing schedules, the buffalo grass saves water and work.

Right now the lawn looks like this, a sea of dirt with tufts of green sticking out of it.

This variety of buffalo grass is only available as plugs, small chunks of grass which will (they tell me) spread to cover the entire lawn area. Here's a closer view of the plugs. The quail in the background is taking a dust bath in the loose dirt left over from the lawn preparation. Their bathing leaves soup bowl size craters in the dirt, so I hope they stay out of the planted area.

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