grass_rabbit.jpgQ: The summer has been so dry and water prices keep going up, so I’m thinking of removing some of my Kentucky bluegrass lawn. What’s the best way to take out grass?

A: Lots of people are considering downsizing their lawns and replacing the grass with low water plantings or vegetable gardens. Lawns are one of the largest consumers of water, according to the EPA, using 30-60% of urban fresh water. Some of the benefits of removing lawns includes spending less money on water bills; using less fertilizer and chemicals that impact the environment; contributing less waste to landfills from grass clippings; enhancing biodiversity with native or xeric plantings; saving time and money on lawn maintenance; and growing plants that will feed your family or wildlife. (more…)

Q: I have an area with creeping thyme planted as a ground cover next to my lawn, and the grass is growing into the ground cover. How can I stop this from happening?

A: The bluegrass that most of us have in our lawns is a tenacious spreader and will generally out compete other ground covers if steps are not taken to physically separate the two areas. It will take some time and effort to change your situation. Here are some suggestions:

– First, make sure your the site where the thyme is growing meets its requirement for full sun. If not, consider using a ground cover more appropriate to the area so that it can grow as vigorously as possible.

– Next, take a look at how these areas are being watered. If they are getting the same amount of water and that amount is enough to keep the bluegrass green, consider changing your irrigation practices to water them separately, and water the ground cover less than the grass. Many groundcovers, such as sedum, creeping thymes, and vinca, require much less water than bluegrass, and they are perfect choices for using drip or soaker irrigation. The grass will not be as tempted to spread to a less frequently irrigated area. If the two areas are already watered separately, check and adjust sprinkler heads in the grass area so that they are not overspraying into the groundcover, and try reducing the irrigation in the ground cover. (more…)