August 20, 2014

Lawn...on the side, please.


"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."  Albert Einstein


 A much over-used phrase, but still


        INSTRUCTIVE.

MY stupid thing...okay, one of many....that I do over and over again... is to try
and grow grass in my front yard... 

in July and August...  (winter, spring, fall...no problemo).


I don't think it is because I am particularly turf challenged, or have inordinately high expectations of a green lawn in hot as the dickens, OKC. Rather, as is so often the case in life, I am trying to have (err, grow) my cake and eat it too...wanting a lush green carpet in ALL seasons, not just fall and spring...all the while growing under the watchful, voracious, all-consuming, (but handsome and much-loved) canopy of my almost 100 year old oak tree...


AND with a south facing exposure that goes from full shade to full sun, literally...

in a matter of days as the sun moves lower in the southern sky... as summer progresses and my heretofore shaded grass now singes and burns, blinking against sudden strong sun, harsh angles, and brutal heat.



I've consulted with every turf expert, done all the things one is supposed to do to encourage warm season grasses:  fertilized organically, pruned my trees high to maximize light, watered less frequently and deeply, never water in the evening (as to minimize fungal issues...my nemesis ever since I moved here)...and tried every variety of seed and sod and fescue and bermuda and rye on the planet. 



If you've read this blog for any length of time, you've shared my trials and tribulations...my experiments with turf, most recently Bent Grass last fall.
But this year, I am employing a different strategy...



(I do love having a strategy over an intractable problem, don't you?...even if the strategy proves unsound, it gives me hope and confidence and a sense of empowerment in the short term..).


Any how, my strategy this year is....!!!


Concession 

(She said meekly...)


This area just doesn't want to play host to turf in the summer. So I will take out as much of it as possible...convert the area to an extension of and addition to the existing beds... 


(as seamlessly as possible with no hint that it was not a part of the design all along),


add some hardscaping embellishments, follow the same curves and sweeps and contours of the existing bed lines...


and, in general, start treating the grass as if it were just a side dish,
and not the entree to my front garden. More vegetables, and less meat, as it were.



So as to minimize, if not save, what brown, summer stressed turf there is.



So, my friends, if you are among the many who have driven by wondering



"What the hell is she doing NOW?"



This is what I have been doing. With much more fine tuning to come as temperatures become more tolerable...and in preparation for the OHS Garden Tour on October 4.


Tomorrow: more detail on the changes.  Until then, watch this video I made last year for Lowe's...in retrospect, foreshadowing of what was to come. (Don't see it?  Go here)

Didn't see last Friday's KFOR 4 Your Garden segment?  Go here.


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