The world has become a concrete jungle with lesser green spaces & more of high-rise buildings surrounding us everywhere. It isn’t any more surprising to see readymade grasses making their way into our homes given the fact that we have instant versions of various things, right from instant noodles to ready mix batter. The greenery surrounding our sweet homes & office spaces is a treat to the eye helping individuals feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
Green Grass in Dryness is Like an Oasis in a Desert
Who doesn’t like to spend some quality time in the care of nature admiring its greenery and plush trees? We do have authentic information that living amidst greenery helps in improving health, both mental & physical health. But, with a change in climatic conditions, environmental degradation & overpopulation, there has been a tremendous decrease in forestation and greenery, especially in places where IT companies have overtaken farming lands. Such climatic changes affect us in terms of water scarcity, drier climates, scorching sunshine, and dried up wells/lands.
It’s rather depressing to see the rivers and lakes dried up owing to failed monsoon. When don’t we have water for basic needs, how about taking up the challenge of at least trying to grow grass in a dry climate? Once you succeed in this endeavor and reap gains, you can pat yourself for taking much pain and efforts to bring in some greenery into your life. This shouldn’t be impossible given the fact that Dubai, a desert country, boasts of some of the most abundant flora and fauna that’s created through ‘grey water’ management.
Grass, Grass What Grass Do You Choose
Grass, like fruits and vegetables, comes in different variations and species-more than hundreds of them exist, each having its advantages and disadvantages. There is a new study with evidence that proves that our ancestors were into eating grass almost 3 million years ago. Even now, the people eat certain parts of specific grasses-we use the seeds of crops such as corn, wheat, and rice. Each of you would like to grow a different type of grass depending on your requirement, such as:
Creating lucratively green gardens to motivate your kids to play and yourself to walk
- Using it as food for farm animals
- Strictly as a means to ensure beauty to the place
- To satisfy government rules of nurturing green spaces while building
Surprisingly, there aren’t many guidelines for helping individuals grow grass in a dry climate, and this article could surely satisfy this requirement. Whatever your intentions might be, growing grass in dry weather means that the foremost step is to choose the right variety of grass before proceeding to anything else. Every grass is different, each of it having its own set of traits that makes it exclusive, and selecting the perfect variety for a dry region goes a long way towards helping your lawns survive and thrive.
There are different species of grass, each of them having different varieties that have various benefits that must be considered and reconsidered before making a final choice. While some grasses are well-equipped to flourish against extreme dryness, some other grasses are resistant to pests, diseases, and fungal infections. Just like how some plants like cactus can survive drought all through the year, certain grass varieties can sail through dry climatic conditions as smooth as butter.
Cold or Warm Grass?
Grasses can be divided into warm and cool-season grasses, and I guess you have guessed the type of grass suitable for dry conditions-indeed it is a warm-season grass. Warm-season grasses are better equipped to handle dry and hot weather; they survive better on soil with low moisture-holding capacity and low pH too. These are bunch grasses that grow in clusters most rapidly during summertime when the weather is hot and warm during the day and night.
Some of the common warm-season grasses that could be grown include Indian grass, big bluestem, little bluestem, switchgrass, Zoysia grass, and Bermuda grass. With the right care and nurturing, warm-season grasses are the best cattle fodder, especially for beef cattle. One also needs patience while growing warm-season grasses as they establish relatively slowly, but once an individual becomes adept in maintaining it, they can last for several years. On the downside, these are pretty expensive, taking around 3-5 years to establish and also accruing more maintenance in terms of time and money (such as mowing/burning) during this period.
Choosing to Seed or Sod?
The direct method to plant is to sow seeds and reap the harvest. But with improvements in technology, the process of growing using the sodding method has become increasingly used and is very successful too. Also, not all the warm grass variants are available in seed form. But in case you are presented with both options having to choose between the two, it is better to understand the pros and cons of both to choose the best fit for dry conditions.
Grass seed is the cheapest option available and the best to choose given that you have chosen a grass species that is available in seed form. But the seeds are slower to establish, and this becomes a more significant problem in dry regions where the hot weather brings about issues on its own during the growth process. Arid or desert regions often fail in achieving smooth growth initially and require reseeding. It’s mandatory that whoever grows the seeds must have keen inspective sight maintain them well, and care appropriately as they take time to become strong enough to resist weeds and other problems.
Before planting the seed, ensure to smoothen the surface and rake the garden. Otherwise, it can lead to patchy lawns. A push spreader can be of definite aid in helping you sow the seeds spread out evenly and smoothly. Once done, please cover the entire area in a layer of good-quality compost to ensure proper water retention. From then on, water them frequently but lightly during the initial few weeks to ensure that the seeds don’t dry away or are damaged due to the dry climatic conditions of the place.
Logging Details about the Sod
So, on the other hand, though expensive, carry high initial costs and offer restrictive grass choices, it is pretty quick to establish and is a superb survivor of hot, dry conditions compared to seeds. It has a better probability of keeping your lawn weed-free. There is also the disadvantage that grass sod can dry out in dry conditions, and it is essential to plant it immediately. If not, the burden is upon the individual to maintain it by keeping it moist and dry until used. Beware, if this is not done, you would even notice dead grass lurking in your brand-new lawns.
Nurturing Soil Nutrients
Desert or dry regions cannot be proclaimed to be the favorite spot for growing greenery, and the soil is often deficient in quality. There is a definite need for adding various nutrients to enhance the nutritive value of the soil and enable the proper growth of grass.
- Gypsum is a functional additive that helps in reducing the alkaline nature of the soil
- Compost is a definite must that must be added to the soil to boost the nutrient quality
- Top the compost with good fertilizers that are excellent sources of phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen to improve soil quality and facilitate grass growth.
Watering is an essential task in growing plants, and watering in dry regions is an art that needs experience to expertise in this field. Water is one of the most valuable resources that is becoming insufficient due to irresponsible use. Most individuals tend to overwater their lawns by not following simple irrigation practices. For dry regions, the less you water the grass, the more precise you are following correct watering practices. The first and foremost step is to avoid watering the grass daily-once you follow this practice failing to water it on any single day leads to death of roots over time.
Limit watering quantity as this motivates the roots to dive deeper into the soil in search of moisture. The best time to water the grass is early in the morning before the sun hits the place, ruining all the moisture that could be used by the soil. Watering occasionally once or twice a week in the right condition and quantity is more effective and productive than daily shallow watering practice. You can use in-ground sprinklers or above-ground hose-end lawn sprinkler heads for automatically watering your grass & for maximum optimal use of water.
Mowing & Sweeping
Mowing correctly-to longer heights-is also a tactical way to address dry conditions as grass leaves store moisture and longer the leaves; more significant is the moisture that could be supplied to the roots. Above all, sweeping your lawn once a while is exceptionally critical for extending the life of grass, remove debris including leaves, and must be the first step performed even before seeding and fertilization. Good luck in growing evergreen grass that soothes your eyes and motivates you to exercise even in a dry climate.