turf elimination round one

this past saturday mr. grwhyrpltd was determined to take out some turf.  if you recall, we moved into a rather new neighborhood that loves its turf grass.  we’re not such big fans.  much to the shock and horror of my in-laws attention to lawn-perfecting detail, we can’t stand to mow, weed wack, fertilize, or otherwise spend hours of our life maintaining some unspoken standard of the neighborly status quo.  but who can blame them, they live just a short drive away from the ultimate in turf grass perfection: augusta national – and yes, we love to golf – the irony…  the golf course i played on in high school was even designed by the same man, but i digress…  eventually we roll out the hand-me-down gas push mower (how we miss our old reel mower we left in ny – but there’s no way it’d get thru the armor of st. augustine), usually when the grass starts overflowing the curb, driveway and the neatly trimmed greenswards of our neighbors.  we do however, like to spend hours in our garden weeding, pruning, digging, planting, harvesting, wildlife watching and otherwise soaking up the benefits of a diverse plant palette – an entirely different passion altogether.  and so, in our aim to eventually eliminate as much turf grass from the property as possible, we took out another 100 square feet of turf this weekend:

before

before

during

during

i worked the maddock too, its just that mr. grwhyrpltd doesn’t think to photograph the process as i do – you’ll have to take my word for it.

builders' dream blend: compacted clay and leveling sand

builders' dream blend: compacted clay and leveling sand

we could barely get a shovel three inches into the ground (see second image above in particular).  as you can see, we’re dealing with heavily compacted clay and varying depths of sand – brought in by the builder to level the grade and establish the lawn.  no wonder Quercus virginiana junior hasn’t been able to establish a root system of her own to stand up to our crazy texas winds…  to beef up the height of the planting bed we added a bulk topsoil mix (sand, loam and compost), glittering green sand and rice hull turkey bedding from a faculty friend in an effort to make the existing soil a little bit better.  and the planting area a little bit bigger…

forked + ammended

forked + amended

don't worry, it won't be a tree island for ever...

don't worry, it won't be a tree island for ever...

while  mr. grwhyrpltd took the truck to get the bulk topsoil mix, i started expanding the existing foundation bed/temporary plant nursery:

before

before

the (l:r) crepe myrtle, knock out roses, and indian hawthorne were here when we got the place…  i plan on rearranging/moving them before they take over the entire bed…

during

during

after a nice soaking rain a few days later

after a nice soaking rain a few days later

after all that i sat back and thought to myself, we should’ve taken out more turf.  but it was 80 degrees and humid at noon and we were famished.  after we grabbed a bite at a burger joint down the road we stopped at two nurseries nearby, bringing home three Muhlenbergia capillaris (pink muhly grass) to add to our newly expanded garden.  seeing that i already had a few plants anxiously waiting to get their roots in the ground, i gave them priority in the new space, and didn’t have enough room for all the muhly.  guess they’ll  just have to wait till the next round…

to be honest, this was actually turf elimination round four.  i haven’t posted about the previous rounds…  yet…

  • round one: fruit trees
  • round two: raised vegetable beds
  • round three: back border
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5 thoughts on “turf elimination round one

  1. Yeah for you! I’m so glad we’re not the only ones that can’t, won’t , and hate to be a slave to the grass. some is okay but enough, just keep ripping up. Happy digging.

    • hey a~, thanks for visiting! i know what you mean. turf is technically a groundcover, which is a good thing, but sometimes too much is just too much…

    • nope, junior is staying put. i think she’ll like the hesperaloes at her toes so much she’ll just root right in…! and yes, i have seen susan’s delawning project. i wonder if sedum acre could deal with our humidity here…? probably not. but i’ve got a few (taller) ideas up my sleeve… can you say verbena bonariensis…? this is going to be fun…

  2. Pingback: if you blink… « grow where you’re planted

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