"The Sod Saga"

Planting and Xeriscaping

May 2004

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After going through a hot summer in 2003, with temperatures in the 90's through June, July, and August, we saw our grass become dry and brown. There was very little rainfall in the Denver area last summer, and this year they are predicting more of the same. We already have water restrictions, so we can only water twice a week (Thursdays and Sundays), and only before 9:00 AM and after 6:00 PM. Rather than let our lawn suffer through another hot, dry summer, Leah decided to try xeriscaping half of our front yard.

What is xeriscaping? The word comes from the Greek term "xeros," meaning DRY. Nancy Leavitt, an Environmental Planner for Denver Water, coined the term XERISCAPE to describe both the gardening technique and education of conserving water through the planting of native, low-watering plants and flowers. There are a few xeriscape basics to keep in mind when starting, like preparing the soil and choosing the right mix of grasses, flowers, and shrubs to create a natural Colorado environment. Colorado State University has a variety of LINKS and ARTICLES to learn more about xeriscaping. To see other photo examples of finished xeriscaping projects, CLICK HERE.

The first step to successful xeriscaping is to get rid of all the grass! To do that, we rented a sod-cutter for a day, and began the process of cutting up our grass. Then we rolled up the sod and piled it on the street. Only problem was that the trash didn't take it. The next week we put the sod rolls into trashbags, thinking maybe that's why the trash wouldn't pick it up. WRONG! Apparently the bags were too heavy, so we had to put the bags in a car and drive it to a dump.

The pictures below cover about a 3-week period from May 5th to May 31st. Enjoy!

Click on a picture to begin the slideshow