DIG THIS! SLO Landscape Strategies

Lawn: Use It Or Lose It!

What a treat it was for those lucky enough to hear the esteemed David Fross (plant guru and part owner at Native Sons Nursery) talk recently at the SLO Botanical Gardens. His talk touched on conservation in a myriad of ways, and the one that stuck with me was about water–do you know where it comes from? I’m not talking “from the hose” or “from the tap” here, but back at the source, the Colorado River. This 1,450 mile-long lifeline sustains more than 30 million souls and 3.5 million acres of farmland in seven states, 34 tribal nations and Mexico. Unsurprisingly, it’s in decline. What can we do? Well, for starters, just knowing that when we water anything, we’re draining this mighty river is enough to get you thinking.
Also, that green water-gulping lawn is certainly an area where we can make improvements. Fross talked a lot about the pros and cons of lawn, but his main point wasn’t to exterminate all flat green spaces. Instead, he challenged us to think about how they’re used. What about the public park where Scouts meet and kids play baseball all summer? Water those and keep them soft and friendly! What about the patches of grass whose only foot traffic is the lone landscaper? These are wasted space. Rip ‘em out and re-purpose the land into something beautiful for people to visit. Not only is this be good for our wallet, but also for the entire marine ecosystem of the Colorado River. Sound radical? Maybe so. But endlessly watering something that gets no use could be considered kinda nutty.
A recent post of ours wrote about Fross’s book, “Reimagining the California Lawn,” enumerating changes you, yourself, can make to your property to make it water-wise and lush. Check out your space and see if you’re using your garden to its fullest potential for enjoyment, food production, and conservation of our precious resources.

(Colorado River facts found here.)