Desert Lawns

Oh this rain!! I don’t need to say how glorious it is, as I know each and everyone of you (that lives here in the high desert) is loving every minute of it as much as I am!!  BUT OH HOW WONDERFULl!!!

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Our skin our soils our souls are soaking up every sacred drop!  The rivers are raging, the mountains inn full bloom!  All I want to so right now is wildly throw seeds around!! And of course lay in the great green grass!!

I green up on blankets of green but I admit I started to reject the typical lawn when I learned how many chemicals went into the average American lawn, not to mention water and how many other amazing plants you could squeeze into those precious spaces around ones home.

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There is a huge movement across the country now to pull out your lawn, grow food and medicine and even keep animals close to home and I am all for it!!  But I must say when I ran the garden at the Santa Fe Children’s Museum I saw how precious the lawn was for picnicing families, barefoot children and rolly polly babies alike.

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Here in the desert lawns are rare and now that I have barefoot children of my own I see the great need to have open soft green spaces for them to run and roll and rest in.  So this year has been the year of the lawn.  I probably wouldn’t have thought of it, but my son did.  In fact he asked for a lawn mower first, which he was gifted by a dear friend…but once he brought it home he realized it was not much fun on our weedy dirt…So we planted the boy a lawn.

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Luckily it has coencieded with a very wet year here in the desert, so the lawn is growing to every bare patch we have left in this little lot.  So when I say lawn- I don’t actually mean the Kentucky blue grass or fescue of my past, but an herbicous or otherwise known as a weedy lawn.  We started out by leaving to of my beloved ‘weeds’. Mallow (Malva neglecta) ( the name says it all!)IMG_8333

and Knotweed (Polygonum erectum )

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were already growing here.  They are hardy weeds, trouble for some if you are trying to rid your farm of them, but soft under foot and welcome here.  They grow low under heavy traffic and take to mowing quite nicely.  We used what was here as nurse crops and planted in plugs of Buffalo Grass, Chamomile, Creeping Thyme, and YarrowIMG_8343

Then we raked the bare soil

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mixed up a bag of Strawberry Clover, Blue Grama Grass and more Buffalo Grass seed from Plants of the Southwest.IMG_8357

Sprinkled liberally

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raked some more and covered with a bit of loss dirt from a pile we had and danced around on it.  The seeds of course need contact with the dirt and all like to be watered to begin with- and in this rain are sprouting up beautifully.

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Once they are established, they will be desert hardy and should thrive just fine on the water that falls from the sky (hopefully it will just keep coming!!)

So now we have ourselves a beautiful little lawn and an extra lawn mower when we need her!!

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