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Replacement For Bluegrass Lawns

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August 13, 2012 – Comments (6)

The current drought has popped a thought up to the top of my mind that has occured to me before. Lawns are awfully water hungry. But most xeriscape looks like $(#(*$@. So anyone that finds something that looks and feels ok, but doesn't use much water should do pretty well on it. Over the long run, drinking water has to get scarcer, so something that cut water usage would be a winner. Especially for commercial and municipal landscaping, where really a lot of water gets used. There is an industrial park near work that has acres and acres of lawn that never gets used for anything. The amount of water used on it has to be staggering. And the cost of that water and mowing and fertilizer will just keep going up.

Any ideas? 

6 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On August 13, 2012 at 11:00 PM, Turfscape (44.18) wrote:

Bluegrass varieties are short-root species. Go for something like tall fescue. Once it's established, the root system goes deeper, giving it a higher degree of drought-tolerance.

Supplement that by only grassing the area of your yard that you really think you'll actively use for walking...or bocce ball...or whatever. Put ground-cover plantings in an organic shape around the perimeter of the yard. Something like vinca vine, or creeping jenny, or snow-on-the-mountain (although that can get a bit aggressive). Those ground covers have less need for water and don't show as much stress as grass does when it goes dormant during dry conditions.

Hmmm...although, I suppose I should first find out what area of the country you live in. That does factor into it just a bit...

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#2) On August 14, 2012 at 2:33 AM, amassafortune (29.41) wrote:

Just letting grass grow a little longer will help retain moisture.

Some people want to copy the golf course look, and if those people own a business and golf, the urge can be insurmountable when they are making the landscaping calls.

For large expanses of lawn as in the industrial park, planting drought-resistant trees will, over time, reduce evaporation, but fallen branches do not mix with today's zero-turn mowers that efficiently cut 2-5 acres per hour. Add some trees and the need to pick up branches, and the lost mowing efficiency will offset water saved.  

I would go with the trees anyway, and raise the cutting height to at least 3 inches. 

I like your line of thinking. As a nation, we consolidated residential gardens, especially since the loss of WWII victory gardens, into ever-larger corporate farms hundreds or thousands of miles away. At the same time we truck our once-local food back to ourselves across the country, we also tend useless crops of grass that require more fossil fuel-based fertilizer and water to maintain, and gasoline to cut.

Our need for oil would be reduced by dozens and dozens of tankers if we would just return some of our turf and flowers back to food-producing plots that require zero oil to harvest or deliver to the dining table. 

Every U.S. yard should produce at least a couple bushels of fruit, nuts, berries, or vegetables each year.  

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#3) On August 14, 2012 at 1:05 PM, ajm101 (31.84) wrote:

Zoysia, Centipede, or Bermuda grass.

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#4) On August 19, 2012 at 9:44 AM, daronstein (< 20) wrote:

Hi Chris,

Sorry to bother you but have an off topic question.

I don't know whether or not you owned Thompson Creek Metals in real life in addition to in the game. If you did and relied on their misrepresentations in their investor presentations and or on their conference calls there is a good chance to recover some of the lost funds. I am part of a small group of investors on the east coast that lost a bunch of money and we are looking to file suit against the company, its management and its board. Because of the vagaries of securities laws we will be advantaged by having a Colorado based investor in the same boat.
There will be no cost to you for joining our suit, except that if we do recover any monies, a portion of the recovery will go towards paying the legal fees. We are only interested in one or perhaps two people to join us, because that works to our advantage.
Please let me know if you or anyone you know in Colorado is interested in joining us.
Best Regards,
David
d a r o n s t e i n @ m a m m o t h c a p i t a l . c o m

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#5) On August 21, 2012 at 11:00 AM, chk999 (99.97) wrote:

Sorry, never owned it in real money. My CAPS picks and my real portfolio don't overlap that much.

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#6) On August 24, 2012 at 11:09 AM, daronstein (< 20) wrote:

Thanks for the response.  Appreciate it.

 

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