Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Yard Update

I'm really pleased with my selection of Celebration Bermuda for the grass in my side yard (See "Instant Yard" for history). It really has done well. In the last few days, we received a good amount of rain, but prior to that we had gone a month or more without any rain. We are restricted to watering only once a week. I have my sprinklers set to run for 3 sessions on the day I choose to water. Each session lasts for 4 minutes, and they are spaced 2 hours apart. This allows time for the water to soak in and avoids wasteful runoff. Water conservation in West Texas is really getting serious, especially now that the oil boom is here and oil companies are using extensive amounts of water in their various pursuits.

Because of water restrictions, I was not able to water heavily after I put in the sod. Luckily, we had a series of scattered rains spread nicely that helped establish the grass. Still, it would have been good to water more heavily to completely establish the grass. Despite this, the grass seems healthy with the exception of 2 or 3 spots. 

This picture was taken a few days before our recent heavy rains, and the grass was still holding its green color.

Compare the photo above to those shown in "Blessed Rain", posted more than a month ago following a good rain. You'll see that the yard has held up well despite only once a week watering.

Front of our house.
In a recent entry, I provided pictures of low-maintenance yards around the neighborhood, so it's only fair to show my yard again. Compare this to the similar picture near the end of "Instand Yard" posted about 3 months ago. You'll see that all the plants have grown some, but most noticeably the 2 sage bushes. They are still small and may be difficult to see in the picture above. One is directly in front of the center of the house. The other is behind the yucca in the left of the picture, in the shaded area. They have grown and filled out nicely, so I have started trimming them to ensure a nice, well-rounded shape. When maintained, sage bushes can be quite pretty, especially in bloom.

Our little sage bush has quite a few blooms. It had even more a day or two later.
I'd like to do some work in the front yard this winter. First, I'd like to find a good desert-type tree to go in the center of the yard to the right of the sidewalk, perhaps a palo verde. I'd also like to wrap a bed around the front of the house from the right in the picture to the front door. Finally, I'd like to put in cement borders as I did in our previous house (see "New Curbing").

Even though this is a low maintenance yard, I do weed pulling a couple of times each week. If I stay on top of it, it literally takes only 2 or 3 minutes each time. About once a month, I use a grass rake to rake my rocks. Dogs and people often walk in the yard for various reasons, and this causes depressions in the rocks, so I rake to smooth it out. I also have to sweep the small rocks off the sidewalk about once a month. And I do try to water the plants once a week. I figure I can reduce this watering schedule when fall arrives and they are more securely established. And that's about all I have to do to the front yard.

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