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I’m long overdue for an update on my gardening projects, which, unlike my posts on the subject, have not been on a year-long hiatus.  In my last updates back in 2011, I had been making attempts at turning our back yard into something more than a clear-cut suburban plot of crappy dirt and dead Bermuda grass.  Those efforts continue.

I’ll start with a quick recap of 2012…

After the previous year’s drought destroyed my neglected backyard lawn and left it completely defenseless against weeds, I decided to try seeding some more drought-tolerant and lower-maintenance native grass.  In the Spring I killed off a big square of lawn and weeds with a couple applications of RoundUp (although I generally don’t like using the stuff, it’s too effective to ignore in certain scenarios that don’t involve edible plants).  Then I tilled it up and incorporated a bit of compost before finally spreading a bag of Habiturf over the area.  Thanks to a fairly wet Spring and some occasional supplemental watering, the grass has actually become fairly established. continue reading…

At about the time I had the trees, berries and grapes planted, I did a bunch of reading to figure out how much I should water everything.  I came up with the following document as a guide: Water Schedule.pdf.

Although very helpful, it got really old having to water all 4 plants separately using one soaker hose.  So, next up was installing sprinklers.  I knew I wanted to go with a drip system since they are the most efficient use of water and also good for achieving a deep soak which is best for root development.  My dad had just installed a new drip sprinkler system and had used Home Depot’s drip kits and it looked like an easy to use system.  I did a bit of comparing and decided I preferred Lowe’s competing kit, but the differences between the two are pretty minimal.

Thankfully, our house already had a sprinkler system installed in the front and they ran the pipe around the back along with extra wires for adding zones.  This project would have been several times more challenging if this hadn’t been done, so I was really thankful.

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