What do you call 10 tons of decomposed granite?
My front yard. 😦
I like grass. I know. I probably live in the wrong state. When I was a kid and lived in Texas for a couple of years, my brothers and I would mow lawns for money. It was great. When we moved to AZ we thought we might try the same thing… then we realized none of our neighbors actually HAD grass to mow. That could be a problem.
The most common landscaping in AZ is actually decomposed or crushed granite. You buy it by the ton, you convince all of your friends that this is the last time you are going to move and if enough of them show up it will only take a couple of hours. Then you buy pizza and you all take breaks every ten minutes to towel off as you move wheel barrow after wheel barrow onto the yard.
When you’re all done it looks… like an idealized desert scene… sort of. Then it rains and you have weeds and grass and all kinds of nasty things pop up.
That’s my front yard. I don’t spend a lot of time out there. I hate it.
So… for my backyard I went with grass. A few years ago I put in an underground drip system. It was revolutionary. It watered JUST the area I wanted and was a major pain in the rear to install (just ask the buddy that helped me lay a trench every 20 inches). But it worked great, until…
There was a chemical that had to go into the line that was an anti-rooting agent so that the grass didn’t grow into the line. It was bad stuff. It always made me nervous. Then a regulator broke. I fixed it, but when I did I busted a pipe… then the electrical line during excavation. So there it all sat, waiting for the weather to cool down.
It cooled down a lot, in fact it froze, and destroyed my vacuum breaker. So it sat longer… a lot longer. Thankfully my wife is blessed with great patience.
By the time I went to fix anything the old system was done. Roots had grown into the lines by now… before the grass completely died of course.
So recently I dug trenches for a new sprinkler system. Not as efficient as the old system but no chemicals. I like that. I got out there with a pick ax and a shovel and busted through a couple hundred feet of caliche. I was not diligent in this procedure. Our yard had open trenches for months. The kids didn’t mind they swung like Indiana Jones on the ropes over them. I imagined compound fractures and major reconstructive surgeries. Ugh…
But… I knuckled down in the worst part of June and July and got it done. Even planted the grass on July 3rd. Straight up grass seed (bermuda: Blackjack) is not easy to find by the way. Most of the seed is coated in fertilizers/antifungal/cellulose material to minimize the amount of seed per pound that they sell you.
It isn’t fully grown in and some of the old grass started growing again, but here it is: