Keeping your garden from becoming a pain in the grass
Assuming you've chosen your grasses well, you shouldn't have much trouble with them. Here's a rundown of tasks that you may or may not need to do:
✓ Water: Many grasses are happy with rainfall alone, but some need supplemental irrigation. Many drought-tolerant grasses can tolerate wet soils, but they may grow too lush and floppy in wet soil, and they may end up being short lived, too.
Drip, overhead, and hand watering are all okay. Wet the soil 12 to 18 inches deep. Water as seldom as you can get away with.
- Fertilize: Most grasses don't need fertilizer; in fact, overly fertile conditions encourage weak growth. Especially avoid excess nitrogen, which produces lush foliage to the point where it can be a problem.
- Avoid pests and diseases: Overwatering and overcrowding can encourage diseases. Gophers will eat grasses from underground, so plant them in protective wire baskets (see Chapter 16 for details). Other critters will browse on your grasses from time to time; remember that grasses are here for just that purpose and can't be hurt by a little grazing.
- Get control of weeds: Carefully remove young weeds, roots and all. Wetting things down first helps a lot. Don't let the weeds get too big, or you'll end up lifting and dividing the grass (or removing it altogether) just to get the weeds out.
- Cut back: Some grasses can go along for years with no pruning, but most look better (and are safer in a fire) if you cut them back hard annually in early spring. You may also want to try combing dead foliage out with your hands (wear gloves). Meadows can be mowed — or grazed, if you happen to have a few head of cattle around.
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How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.
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