Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Watching Grass Grow: Week 2

Still no change. None of the plugs have died, but none have obviously increased in size. I know the plugs are probably sending roots deep and wide, but I want to see grass. I want it now!

The doves, quail, curved bill thrashers and towhees are going nuts in the planted area, feeding on bugs and freshly sprouted weeds. The beak marks are so dense in some areas it looks like someone in golfing shoes did a tapdance.

The organic matter we used in the lawn prep was several cubic yards of home-made compost, much of it shredded mesquite and palo verde prunings, dropped leaves, and any bean pods the birds didn't eat. The result is dozens of baby trees popping up as the constant moisture encourages the seeds to sprout. Easy to spot, and easy to pull.

There are also some surviving Bermuda sprouts emerging. We couldn't wait until the Bermuda was completely out of dormancy and active enough to finish the grass killing that started last fall because it would have been too hot for good shipping and planting weather. The crew that installed the sprinklers stripped the sod, and I'm prowling the lawn area with a small spray bottle of glyphosate to kill the sprouts as they emerge.

I didn't use a pre-emergent, which probably wouldn't have worked well anyway. They tend to get washed out of the effective prevention zone after a few waterings, and this area is moist at least 12 inches deep and getting watered twice a day. A few of the ubuquitous Phoenix weeds are sprouting. The cheeseweed has to be spotted quickly because it can make two leaves, produce one flower and make a couple hundred seeds.

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