So, I'm officially in my sixth month of home ownership. My indoor decor progresses with every new Filmore poster, pulp art print, circus punk, or vinyl collectible I find.

But, my fiance and I have started the battle with the backyard. We want comfortable living space, we want less dirt, we want space for both vegetable and decorative gardens, and yes - we want some grass.

I like to nurture my inner "heather" and play the occasional game of croquet or lawn bowling, plus my beloved dog is an avid grass roller. We are ready to till and fertilize to prep the area we want to lay sod - but are now at an impasse. What type of sod will be best for life in Burque? What stands up best to the summer heat and the winter snow? What will grow heartily, but not take up too much water? What will do well against the usage of my husband (to-be) and dog? (mind you, the Duni-dog has his own dog run so it's not like he'll be living on the grass)

I need advice and suggestions from my DCF family - what has worked best for those of you who have planted/maintained a lawn? And, who is the best sod dealer in town?

And, I already know that many of my DCF peeps will tell me that grass is no bueno. And, I appreciate your input and honesty, and you will be happy to know that my fiance and I are planning to tear out the pointless/dead lawn in our front yard to put in a privacy wall (hooray private front patio! and more outdoor living space!) and xeriscape the front. I don't understand lawns in the front of homes - people just don't take the time to enjoy those anymore. It's all about the backyard!

so, help! thoughts? advice? recommendations?

Views: 722

Comment by hettie on June 7, 2010 at 5:26pm
I recommend calling the folks at jericho nursery. they can get a few different kinds of sod (you order ahead and it's delivered to their shop) and are helpful about finding the right type for your yard. the city of albuquerque uses a "park blend" that has fescue and bluegrass--although I think there's a third kind in there as well. fescue is pretty drought tolerant and if you can find a blend that uses it, your water bill will be happier. also, don't forget to keep the pup off of it until it's well established.

we had a tiny patch of fescue blend that we sodded two summers ago, with sod purchased from jericho. for one glorious summer my sweet middle aged dog and I lolled around on the grass eating popsicles. as someone who grew up in the east mountains far from lawns and parks, it was heaven. then we got a new puppy who loves running around in circles, peeing and digging holes. the tiny patch of grass was doomed. it has convinced me that I just wasn't meant to have personal grass. but the puppy is a happy addition to the family, roosevelt is really nearby and you can get tiny, popsicle-sized coolers. :)
Comment by Brendan on June 7, 2010 at 6:07pm
Whatever type of grass you plant, plant some deciduous trees around it. The shade in summer will keep the area cooler and your water usage will be lower in the long run.
Comment by RiRiSynCyr on June 7, 2010 at 7:03pm
Thanks hettie & Brendan!

I was looking at jerichos website last night, but a reccomendation was what I really wanted. And a lot of sites I read reccomended a fescue blend, but I'll call them to discuss it further - I want something that will suit our lifestyle.

And I have a whole other post about the tree question! We have a perfect spot for one, and I want something that will grow into a nice shade tree....but that will come later :)
Comment by JFoote on June 8, 2010 at 7:26am
We sodded a variety called Reveille, that we got from Jericho, last summer, it is "drought tolerant" which does not mean "uses less water" it means it can go for a long time without water and will perk back up with copious amounts. However, it does have a ridiculously deep root system so you can water deep and infrequently. It is beautiful grass too, deep green with broad leaves. Heres some more info. Good luck, you might want to wait until later in the year at this point to sod, the summer sun really takes a toll on the grass when it's trying to establish. I'd honestly wait until September to put any new stuff down. You can spend the summer tilling in tons of compost, mulch and seed starter too, oh and make sure you have a really substantial irrigation system as well.
Comment by shotsie on June 8, 2010 at 8:22am
I don't like those front yard enclosed patio wall heavily fortified enclosures - we have quite a few in our 'hood, and they just look totally unfriendly - the front yard should be a welcome mat, not a giant wall to keep out the neighbors. To be honest, I've rarely seen (or actually heard) people actually using them - companies sell them on the idea that the living space is extended, but no one actually uses that space - they build it and then use it like once a month, if that. It's a lot more interesting sitting on an open porch and looking at the neighbors taking walks or the kids riding their bikes than looking at a wall. I put in lots of colorful bushes and flowers out front and get all sorts of compliments from the neighbors. (Think wrought iron fence with climbing roses...) But if you do have to have to build that fortress, please add a doorbell switch at the gate so people can actually contact you when you're inside the house. You can add a security camera to avoid salespeople. And don't forget the water rebate for removing your front lawn. And plan it during the summer and plant it in the fall....
Comment by Scrymgeour on June 8, 2010 at 8:45am
High Country gardens sells several custom blends of grass seeds that are particular to our environment. Can't remember the names off hand, but they really have some interesting choices too. They have a location near Academy & San Mateo.
Comment by once banned twice shy on June 8, 2010 at 8:59am
Count me as one DCFer who will NOT tell you that grass is no bueno. Certain types of grasses are suited for this environment and grass and green stuff around your house will keep the house (and the city) cooler. I, for one, deplore the all rock yard (you can practically hear the heat sizzling off of it) or, the new favorite of many young folk: the all dirt yard. Which is what you get when you decide your grass is evil, but you are too lazy or cheap to put in any other kind of landscaping. Gotta love those dirt yards during wind storms!
Comment by RiRiSynCyr on June 8, 2010 at 9:09am
@shotsie - i'm a courtyard kind of a girl. mealtimes, a nice fire pit, a patio of large stone flooring with mosses growing between, potted plants and a corner bonsai garden - lovely! We're only planning on enclosing about half of the front yard with the wall, and we have a plan for some pretty asian-infused garden & sculpture in front of the wall so it still has good curb appeal. What we haven't decided on is if there will just be a nice opening that faces the driveway - or if we'll actually put a gate there....I agree that if there's a gate there must also be a bell of some kind.

@OBTS - dirt is what our backyard is transforming FROM. It drives me crazy! to have all that space unused, dusty, and blowing into my house! Between the wind blowing it in and the dog tracking it in - i'm over it! We've already covered one small area with garden fabric and a nice cedar mulch, we've plotted out the raised beds we will build for both decorative and veggie gardens (probably in phase 3 or 4), but want to tackle this grass thing by the end of summer. I agree - I think it will help cool our whole property down.


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