Thursday, August 17, 2006

GREY WATER AND GREEN GRASS

I always find garden blogger talk about using barrels to capture rain water an interesting concept, and one unknown here in Colorado. State law requires that precipitation that falls to the ground runs off and into the rivershed where it fell, without any intervention by water users. Mean, huh? Well, we've been in a drought for a long time and on water rationing for ages. Water in the west is liquid gold. Re-using grey water is a no-no, too. You can't capture your shower water before it runs down the drain (not that I'd want to do that) or throw your dishwater on the lawn (not that I'd want to do dishes).

So how to keep 1/3 of an acre of Kentucky bluegrass green? Normally I don't. But this year we had way above average snowpack in the mountains which meant more runoff for us and restrictions were lifted. Hooray, a green lawn for the first time in years! Of course I had to pay dearly for it. My water bill for the first couple of months made me cringe but I found if I didn't eat or buy any clothes I could pay it.

Then we had an unusually wet July which made me cheer. We had so much rain the mushrooms sprouted like dandelions. I mow the lawn once a week on the highest setting of the lawnmower which makes it look like I need to mow again immediately, but the height of the grass keeps the roots cooler and less likely to dry out. It's not a manicured look, which I don't care about anyway, but I like this method of conserving water better than this sage advice from the Water Board: "Try catching water that comes out before the shower water warms up and then use this water to flush toilets or rinse the shower." Geez, I can hardly get to work on time as it is.

9 comments:

La Gringa said...

Hi Lost Roses, I love the meadow-look of your tall grass. It's beautiful, and as a grass-lover myself, I'd say it is worth the effort and sacrifice.

Thanks for listing my blog as a "cool" one. It's an honor!

Carol said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a nice comment.

I agree on mow high, keep the roots cool, that's what I do in the midwest. We've had a fabulous year for rain, so far. I know someone in Colorado and she tells me how dry it has been for years, but it sounds like you are coping.

I shall be back to visit your blog some more.

La Gringa said...

Hi LostRoses,
Not the appropriate location, but I wanted to let you know about those beans you saw by the road in Honduras.

I've checked with my resident expert, El Jefe, and he tells me that those were probably cacao (cocoa) beans. Other things dried in this same manner are corn, rice, and fish (yikes!). Now I know why everyone washes the rice before they use it! Not a very sanitary or healthy practice, is it?

Carol said...

I have never heard that it is not allowed to catch rain water *shock* Who can control it if you do it anyway?

Your grass looks really healthy and green! Much better than mine.

And I love that pedastal with the ball on top and balls beside. Beautiful!

Salix Tree said...

I love the look of the grass! And all the mushrooms! Looks like a lawn that faeries live in!

LostRoses said...

Carol, we have "water police". They drive around the neighborhoods looking for violations of the water rules. One year I received a warning for hand-watering my plants at 10 AM in the morning. We can only water up until 9 AM and after 6 PM.

Salix, thanks for your comment. The mushrooms only appear after heavy rains and that was a banner week!

Carol said...

Water police! *EEK* Unbelievable! Oh poor you! I understand even better how precious your green grass must be for you now!

Annie in Austin said...

A couple of years ago the rains were good and we had green grass, too - but that's just a memory this year. Your grass looks so soft and tender, and you are obviously enjoying its serene presence.

The comments were confusing until I realized there were 2 Carols, gardening on two continents... but no matter where we live, we all admire your lawn.

Annie

LostRoses said...

Annie, I was confused too until I figured it out! Thanks for your comments on the lawn, it really is beautiful this year and that's why I'm taking so many pictures. It probably won't be this way next year unless the drought is over which I seriously doubt!