Thursday, August 14, 2008

#20 Bermuda Grass

This little patch of grass was dug out of the middle of some Bermuda grass. That patch grew in already and this one has about doubled. By next year it will be about nine times more than itself right now (whatever that is mathematically... it will spread out its own width in every direction, or maybe even more if it's really rainy and I remember to loosen up the soil.

Here's some that was growing between a wooden deck and the concrete step outside the back door. It was long because it had no ground to stick into and it's not in a place that gets mowed. So you can see the details.

I did pour water on it, but didn't give it time to soak before I dug it up with my fingers impatiently to bring it in and scan it. The roots are pretty strong, and it won't hurt much that I broke them off. I'll stick all this in a pan of water, and in a week or two there will be roots coming out at every joint in that grass, and I can just dig a trench with anything like a screwdriver and lay the rooty grass in there and cover it. Sometimes it dies and sometimes it lives, but when it lives it can live and spread for years.

I know that people in very wet places sometimes consider Bermuda grass an invasive weedy thing, but here where grass from seed is hard to grow and has to be watered every other day or so, grass that can thrive in the desert is pretty exciting stuff. Green is valuable here. Shade is valuable here.

When I pass through places like eastern Oklahoma, Arkansas.... I see the yards and people with ride-on mowers and my first thought is that they must be RICH to have a whole acre of lawn! Then I was told once that if they leave home for a month, their whole driveway can turn to grass. In New Mexico if you leave home for a month, your lawn will die in your absence, unless you've persuaded a house-sitter to water it at least twice a week (and more if there's new grass or it's really dry).

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