Valley Gardening: Is grass the bad guy?


Life is good in the neighborhood! My hero, Peyton Sanchez, gathered enough strength this week to start his card business. Peyton brailles a message and his mom then writes the caption—they are turning out really nice. And then, Sheila, put it out there on Facebook and what a response. I am thinking Peyton has his work cut out for him. It is beyond wonderful how many community members support this young man. The cards will sell for $4 and Peyton wants to donate $1 of each sale to one of his many charitable projects. The name of his little business is “Peyton’s Inspirational Notes.”

Thanks this week go to Sally at Papers of Distinction and Melanie at Main Copy Source for helping with resume paper and printing.

I also need to give thanks to Matt and Anna Ciezki and Lisa Lucero for donating to the flag project I am working on. My husband and I have also donated so that means two flagpoles have been paid for. If I remember right, each pole, with solar collector will be $200, including the flag. We are on our way….and now we just have to get permission from the City of Alamosa, but that shouldn’t be difficult, right?

Meanwhile…back to lawns. I did some Google searching this week to find out if Kentucky Bluegrass is the culprit everyone makes it out to be. It scares me when everyone talks about pulling up the grass, and putting down rock, ‘to conserve water.’

Again….and let me repeat it….from Plantalk Colorado comes the following “As a species, Kentucky Bluegrass is remarkably heat and drought tolerant. Mow at 2-3 inches, fertilize adequately (not excessively), irrigating deeply but less frequently.” It also said to cultivate to relieve soil compaction but I’m not sure what they meant by that, so will try and find out. I think I have been saying the above for a number of years, haven’t I?

Alamosa’s voluntary watering schedule of every other day is a little off unless you can do it every three and/or four days. Just try it. If we all want to conserve water it seems like a good place to start would be getting rid of boulevards. Maybe a competition for the coolest boulevard that replaces grass. Stamped concrete, or pavers, or mosaics, or something. Anything but crusher fines and gravel, as they never look good after the first couple of years—in my humble opinion.

There are different varieties of Bluegrass that are more drought tolerant. I am going to check out the varieties that I sell and see if some of the types are in the mix of seven types of seed mix I sell. Will let you know next week.

When I think of rock/gravel and the simple Karl Foerester Grass I cringe.  To me, when the KF Grass is used, it means, “we don’t want to hire someone to maintain a more beautiful landscape.” A landscape using rock and grass is sterile and uninviting—that’s how I see it. It isn’t warm, shows no joy. I don’t believe this type of landscaping convinces folks to shop in our town. Karl Foerester grass is an ACCENT plant, not an all over plant. Again, my opinion.

I constantly look at landscaping around town. I look at the chain stores and restaurants and wonder why Alamosa doesn’t demand that they look as nice as the establishments in the bigger cities. When a landscape is done, why don’t we demand that it be kept up? Dead shrubs and trees replaced? Not only kept up, but improved every year. 

In LODA, I hope to get the remaining tire planters out on our corners this weekend. That’s what we have to do on the south side. The tire planters are actually pretty cool—they serve as colorful planters AND works of art. And they blend with the recycled trash containers that we get to use.

Please keep Peyton, and Jeff Woodward and Sandi Holtcamp loud and to the forefront in your prayers this week. They all have challenges in front of them, and need all the good energy we can muster, heading their way! Thank you, thank you!

More In Opinion