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Tim's theory of green grass.

Grass needs soil, sunlight and water. When it's stressed, it needs more water.

We only have a very limited amount of water.  Please stop watering the lawn from the faucet.  That is potable water, and it's for drinking and washing.

The brown spots in the grass are mostly due to pocket gopher infestation.  They dig underneath and eat the roots of the grass.  It's really difficult for the grass to absorb water from the soil when its roots are in a gopher being digested.  It stays alive for awhile, but it either needs to have lots more water, or no gophers eating the roots.  Around the gopher tunnels, the soil around the grass roots is drying from both top and bottom, which makes it a lot harder to keep moist. Where the gophers push dirt up, they cover the grass and deny it sunlight, and the dirt absorbs heat and bakes the grass.

The other reason is sprinkler heads that aren't turning. This is where there's lots of grass but it's getting crunchy.  Generally, there will be an hourglass shaped area of really really well watered grass adjacent to it.

I replaced another sprinkler head today, and there's another one on the east perimeter, that I'll do on Thursday.  We'll keep an eye on it, but other than that, all the other heads are working.  Also, the watering time has been pushed up a little bit.  So we should be doing better, soon.

 

The plan is fairly simple: control the gophers, monitor the sprinklers and fix 'em as necessary.

Once the gophers are mostly gone, we'll mark the sprinkler heads so as not to run over them, and bring in Gracie and use her weight to collapse the gopher tunnels.  Then the soil will only be drying from the top.  Once the grass has some altitude, we can sprinkle a  sand and compost mixture into the low spots.

When it's reasonably flat, we can rent a roller, and speed up the flattening process some.

Once again, DON'T sprinkle the lawn from the faucets.

Tell me, here, about possibly broken sprinklers. I can't be out every day, and the quicker we notice, the quicker I can fix it.

Pull weeds.  Weeds compete with the grass for the limited water we have.

Pick up rocks on the grass.  Rocks absorb heat and block sunlight.  The grass can't grow without sunlight, and it stays hot a lot longer than it would without a rock sitting on top of it.

If you're going to destroy a gopher mound, do it properly. Don't just spread it out until it covers the grass an inch deep. That blocks sunlight to the grass. The grasses we have are pretty tough, and will grow up through the dirt -- eventually, but it will grow a lot faster if there is green -- or yellow, if it's been buried awhile) exposed to the sun.  There's a miniature lawn rake that's used with the pooper scooper. It's hanging near the bell. That does a pretty good job of flinging the dirt away while combing through the grass.  If you're feeling particularly community minded, take that and find some of the many old gopher mounds that have been inadequately spread and rake down until you expose grass.  Once the rhizomes of Bermuda grass have sunlight, they'll put out leaves pretty quick.

 

 

Until I come out there shaking my fist and yelling, "Hey! All you kids get off my lawn!"

Good thought on pulling weeds. I guees in the past I figured that green weeds is better then brown dirt. Never though about how they are taking precious water resources from the grass. So I went out today and burtally murdered about a hundered of them with my bare hands! (note: bare hands not recommended)

After pulling out some of those weeds and seeing the size of the root structure, yeah, I cna see now how they divert resources from the grass. Some of those roots are stinkin large.

So, everyone, if you see those yellow flowering weeds, pull those bastards out and swear at them while your at it! That will teach them!

Technically, those are mustards, not bastards, but I concur with the sentiment.