On Garden Police, my design partner, Michael Glassman and I "patrolled" the streets of Los Angeles looking for the ugliest front yard on the block and then "busted" the homeowners for design infringements.
After the homeowners agreed to invest some "sweat equity" in their yards, Michael and I would design a new yard for them.
With this over-taxed schedule, can you blame me for ignoring my own yard!!
The only time I had to work in my backyard was on weekends.
Typical Tract Lot Yard
My typical suburban tract backyard- a rectangular yard with a weed infested lawn and a boring concrete patio that offered no shade!
The Fantasy Yard
I longed for a "destination backyard" that reminded me of the places I visited during my honeymoon in Italy.
My list of "design must-haves" included a dynamic multi-level entertainer's yard with outdoor kitchen, dining room, living room, a new "master bedroom" outdoor spa retreat, waterfall and pond, ornamental and edible gardens, a firepit, fireplace and some shade structures!
If the claims are true regarding UC Verde lawns, I will not hesitate to use it and recommend it to my clients and Eden Maker blog readers. There is nothing inherently “evil” about lawns, after all.
According to theÂ Grass Roots Program,Â Â the organization that I learned about UC Verde grass from, UC Verde is nothing short of Â AMAZING for our dry areas.
The challenge many people have Â with common lawns is that they require regular watering,Â fertilizingÂ and maintenance to look their best. If you live in a drought area like I do, this is a huge issue!
This is what my “lush” red fescue lawn (shown above) looks like today. I water 3 times per week for 10 minutes and it still looks brown!
I removed most of the “dead” red fescue clumps, and prepared the soil by loosening up the top 8″ inches. I addedÂ organic compostÂ to the soil before planting the UC Verde grass.Â
The UC Verde grass is delivered in cell packs instead of Â in “sodÂ form.” Â Each tray holds either 72 or 128 plugs and is light weight for shipping.Â
Each plug is approximately Â 1 Â 3/4″ inches deep and spreads above ground viaÂ stolons.
To calculate the number of plugs needed, use the following formula for the appropriate spacing:
12 inches on center
Multiply lawn footage by 1.00
9 inches on center
multiply lawn footage by 1.78
6 inches on center
multiply lawn footage by 4.00
9 inches on center
multiply by 1.78
6 inches on center
multiply by 4.00
IÂ planted the UC Verde plugs approximately 8 – 10″ inches on center for faster coverage. I also left some of the red fescue Â along the periphery to maintain some green color when the UC Verde goes through it’s brief Â semi -dormancy period in the winter. (Oh well, can’t have it all!)
The plugs are planted and require frequent watering during the establishing period- which runs approximately 4-6 weeks.
I have my timer set for twice daily watering for 10 minutes- once in the morning and again in the early evening. When this period is over, my UC Verde lawn will be watered every 10 to 12 days (according to the Grass Roots Program recommendation). I can give it a light mowing then as well.
In the winter, forget about watering all together and go shopping for holiday presents with the money you save on water!
I have specific expectations from the UC Verde lawn.
Once established, I expect it to look green and lush with the required watering schedule (which is much less than my red fescue requires).
I understand that it needs at least 5-6 hours of full sun ( I have a smidgen of shade from my Olive tree, but not much).
I expect the UC Verde lawn to thrive with minimal fertilizing.
I will be satisfied with the “natural look” of this grass as I’m not into mowing- at all! Â
Is that too much to ask for a lawn that will be basking in 110 degree summer heat?
Subscribe to Shirley Bovshow’sÂ Eden Makers Blog for updates on the UC Verde lawn test and design ideas for dry gardens and landscapes!
Bio: Hi! My name is Shirley and I'm an "EdenMaker!" I'm a happily married mom of 4 kids and I design gardens for a living in Los Angeles.
But there's more! You may know me from my garden makeovers on television or for my many web series!
If not , start watching my shows!
http://GardenCenterTV.ning.com & http://Blip.TV/Garden-World-Report