Monday, July 6, 2009

Watching Grass Grow Week 15: Turf, I haz it!

Wow, give buffalo grass a week or two of 105°F+ (over 40°C for you metric people) with Arizona monsoon humidity and it turns into turf! Real, fine-bladed grassy lawn kind of turf!

The annual weeds are quitting faster than an Alaskan governor, and the Bermuda grass is ducking for cover like a politician caught hiking the Argentine trail. Even the spurge is being displaced.

I am watering every 4 days, which is enough to keep an established Bermuda grass lawn alive, and the UC Verde buffalo grass is green and looks and feel like a LAWN!

Even the small area that is getting less than half the water as the rest of the lawn (because the sprinklers need adjusting) is still looking like lawn. It's clearly drought-stressed, but not dead, and I fixed the sprinkler problem. It's still turf, just not tall turf.

I am hard to impress, but ... I'm impressed. If this could be sold as sod, it would be perfect, but 3 to 4 months establishing the plugs is a minor investment of time compared to the saving water and mowing time I'm going to be enjoying next year.

I'll point out where I screwed up establishing the lawn in a later post.


Cyrus said...

That's great stuff! I'm in coastal San Diego on my 5th week. Unlike you, I didn't remove all the old turf. I just sprayed it with Roundup, put in the new plugs and hoped for the best. The UC Verde does seem to taking, but there are a few spots where I may have over-watered. The runners are getting out there though and some have criss-crossed. We have a mandatory drought reduction out here and are only supposed to water 3/wk for 10 minutes. I managed to get a variance though. The local water district is interested in what I'm doing.

Lazy Gardens said...

Cyrus - if it's sending out runners, it's going to make it.

I'm now watering every 4 days, for 15 minutes ... and this is AZ.

John and Drew said...

We Love our lawn, we've had it for over 3 years and wouldn't ever go back.

We planted our plugs in March 07 and by the end of July it looked like it had just about covered all the dirt. The next year you could hardly tell where we planted the plugs.

Anonymous said...

can i find seed somewhere? or do i have to buy plugs?

Lazy Gardens said...

Anonymous - Plugs only for this variety. They are working on a way of making it as sod, but I'm not sure if they have succeeded.

The buffalo grass that grows from seed also has tall, spiky seedheads. That's great but it's not nice for a play area.

Jyl Lytle said...

I started working on my lawn at the house I'm renting in the second week of June. There was no grass except for a tiny little circle of buffalo grass around the light pole. It's the last day of July and there is only one patch in my lawn that hasn't filled in yet. It's close now though. This is my first real effort at growing a lawn. I'm pretty pleased with myself. I even got flowers to grow. Some of the vines are all the way up to my roof. I think I found a new passion.

Lazy Gardens said...

Jyl -
It's addictive.

Try growing your own vegetables.