Friday, August 14, 2015

African Dogtooth Grass Update - It's not the lawn at Buckingham Palace

While we were on vacation earlier this spring/summer it rained in Denver. A lot. More than usual.

Our recently planted African Dogtooth Grass seemed to like this abnormal rainy season very much. The grass grew like crazy. The grass street lawn, in the area I previously called the "hellstrip," looks pretty good. Relatively speaking.

Mostly dogtooth grass in July 2015, 14 months after planting.

Two or three times this summer I went through and haphazardly pulled out a couple of thistles (if I had gloves) and tallish weeds. I don't care about dandelions or clover. They get to stay in this lawn. I've put corn gluten, a totally organic, but expensive fertilizer and germination stopper on it about every six months. I have the feeling it's not stopping much germination, so not sure if I'll continue using it.

The original Kentucky Bluegrass sod, rolled out by the builder – which my aunt was so sure was completely hopelessdidn't thoroughly die even though we gave it 3 rounds of toxic chemical treatment before planting the Dogtooth plugs. Some of the old Bluegrass is still mixed in. I don't mind the Bluegrass either.

At the top of the photo is the Bluegrass, at the bottom of the photo is the Dogtooth.
In August, the Bluegrass turns brown, even when we up the amount of water we give it.
The Dogtooth is (so far) indifferent to the hotter, drier August weather.

We're still mowing the street lawn about every 2 weeks, because of the mixed-in Bluegrass. The Dogtooth grass doesn't seem to mind being mowed, but it doesn't really need to be mowed. It doesn't get very tall. The Dogtooth grass does, however, like to creep over the edges of the sidewalk.

Dogtooth grass attempting to stretch across the sidewalk.
(It doesn't make it more than about 6" when it starts to die.)

Mostly, I want the lawn to be greenish. Not brown. With fewer – or no – chemicals. Let's remember what it looked like at its low point, shall we?

May 2013, or so.
August 2015

After 16 months, it's fair to say that the African Dogtooth Grass has been a success.

Fritz says, "It's not the lawn at Buckingham Palace, but it will do."

Planting the dogtooth grass plugs
Why we planted the grass (a dialog)
The African dogtooth grass experiment begins in May
The African dogtooth grass at 4 months in August
The additional bulb flower experiment
Where the bulbs get eaten by the rabbits
Two year in when the Japanese Beetle Grubs arrive

1 comment:

Pregnantly Plump said...

I think it looks great! I'm glad it's working out, and that patience paid off.