Baby steps

We had a long couple of weeks getting everyone back to school. Friday completed our first week of classes. Now that I have some time without bickering over Minecraft for 8 hours daily and making food 24 hours a day, I can return my focus to other things, like tackling the back yard.

I know it’s hard to see in the pictures,  but my little helpers and I made some definite progress. I took the hose and made a partial outline of where the grass is going to go. I’d been dragging my feet because, you know, time but also because I didn’t know where I could work without getting in the way of the sprinklers. I got word today, however, that as long as I stay away from the edges, I’m good. So I can work on the middle unhindered.

The middle is going to be grass and landscaping rocks with big trees to shade the house. Besides being much-needed to beat the heat, the shade will drastically cut down on the yard’s water needs – so important in an area with annual watering restrictions.

In my spare time I’ve been looking at other options to keep the grass happy and green while preserving as much water as possible and two things keep coming up: mulch and hugelkultur.

What is hugelkultur? It’s where you bury whole logs (or trees), composting them completely under ground. Apparently it holds in moisture, adds in vital nutrients, and helps with irrigation. Since this will be the low point in the yard, all the water needed to keep grass nice and green will – fingers crossed – end up puddling under the ground here. The big trees will protect it from the beating sun. That’s how we’re going to get, and keep grass in the dessert.

What is that big black thing you ask? That’s a project for another day.

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