May 23, 2014

Sustainable Gardening Meeting Report

Last night we got to listen to Alex Grover talk about sustainable gardening in Joaquin Neighborhood. I was only able to stay for an hour, but it really got me excited to learn more! Here are some quick notes and some resources for your gardening.

Here in Provo, we are charged for our lawn water by the gallon, so we need to use it wisely. Since we have about four months of watering, it's good to do a few things with your lawn to be water-wise.

-Mow as high as you can, avoid fertilizer--most of it isn't absorbed and goes into the water supply, and enjoy the clover--it adds nitrogen to your lawn! Part of this is a mind-set, shifting from competition for the neighborhood lawn that looks most like a golf course to having an inexpensive and earth-friendly lawn.

-Water once a week. The soil in our neighborhood is generally a light clay, so it holds water well. Your grass will get deeper roots and withstand drought better.

-Upgrade sprinklers to MP rotors and ask for a state rebate in the sprinkler store. (Sprinkler World, Irrigation Supply Company, etc.)

There are alternatives to the water-hungry lawn.

-Plant lots of perennials! (Perennials come back every year from the same root, annuals live one year and then die or reseed themselves). Perennials have deeper roots than grass so don't need watered as much. Water deep and seldom to encourage deeper roots. We live in a tree-lined neighborhood. A lot of perennials are full-sun, but we get such bright light that some will do fine in the shade. Consider a drip system to water perennials.

-Plant herbs, many are drought resistant!

-Plant a vegetable garden instead of a lawn

-Plant with native plants

Some warnings

-Don't do weed fabric and rocks. Weeds will grow there!

-Keep whatever you do looking nice so you don't get complaints from the neighbors.


Utah Sustainable Gardening Blog by Alex Grover

Add yourself to Provo Permaculture group on Facebook.

Check out "Waterwise: Native Plants for Intermountain Landscaping"(USU Press) or "Landscaping on the New Frontier: Water wise Design for the New Frontier"(USU Press) and other great books from the library.

Personal notes: I've checked out a lot of books on water-wise design. I have this park strand that I don't want to water and that I want to do something experimental with, like plant with native plants. However, my house is very traditional, so I'm not sure how that would work. I want to research more and do a separate post on having a water-wise park strip!



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