25 May 2010

Lawns, watering & futility.

Okay, so Fort X is in the 'south'. It is hot here already. We've been in the 90s for about a month now. And it is only going to get worse. Summertime averages are hovering in the 100's. I'm not complaining about the temps though - at least not yet. But here IS my beef: the housing folks here insist on everyone having lush green lawns, and in order to make that happen in the face of 6 straight months of 80+ degree weather with peaks in the 110's, you have to water your lawn. HAVE TO. Its only the end of May and ours is already showing signs of brown crispiness. Tres unattractive.

But you know what? I loathe watering lawns. Loathe. Not only is it a huge (HUGE!) waste of water, but it actually makes the grass less strong, have weaker roots and more susceptible to drought. Once you start, you can't stop until fall or you decide you don't mind having a crunchy carpet of tan in the back yard. Its a vicious and unnecessary cycle I'd just rather not be a part of. But the housing folks here insist we water. So water we must. Against all my better judgement and all the numbers...

Dig this: the average 1,000 square foot lawn 'requires' 8 inches of water a month during the growing season (our state averages- using the high figures- 2.6" per month- its usually way less than that), that means over the course of one month, ONE family would use just shy of 5,000 gallons of water. That adds up to over 30,000 gallons JUST during spring and summer. THIRTY THOUSAND gallons of water. For just your lawn. Do the math, according to the post housing office, there are around 6,000 homes here. 6,000 x 30,0000 = 180 MILLION GALLONS. In six months. (For reference, that is about 272 Olympic sized pools) And Fort X claims to be all about the water conservation... tell them your toilet is running or your faucet is leaking? They'll be out ASAP on an emergency maintenance call, BUT... you still have to water your lawn daily.


I, for one, would have LOVED to see Fort X have nice, soft pea gravel back yards (my friend had one in Phoenix and it was perfectly lovely- though the pool did help), we wouldn't have to mow all the time (and therefore we wouldn't have to send out the neighborhood CO to shake his finger at the homes who aren't mowing frequently enough), they are virtually maintenance free, no bald spots from Spot running circles in the yard, and no watering. Now, I suppose there would be a milliondy high-maintenance families screeching about how there's no grass for their kidlets to frolic in. To which I would say, People, we practically live in the desert. Get over it. (Or, if you are nicer than I am, you could set aside a few lush grassy areas in each neighborhood to give the grass lovers their fix.)

Anyway, this is the bug that is in my craw. I am awaiting the nasty-gram stuck in our door because we aren't watering the lawn and it is slowly turning brown. But, deep down, I also don't want to get sacked with the fees for replacing an entire yard's worth of sod (not that it is a grassy yard, though, it is mostly weeds that we MUST water). So fight on I will, and try to get by on the bare minimum watering possibly allowed. May the force be with me!


the Somarribas said...

Wow, that seems like such a waste. We just PCSed from New England to the South and have a lawn to take care of, I hope it's not to difficult to manage!

Post Tenebras Lux said...

Hah! I *never* water our yard, for that *exact* reason. In fact, this year, I am not even mowing most of it (we live on an acre) because I'm pretty sure it's more pollinating-insect-habitat friendly and uses less gasoline that way. My neighbors probably hate me, though =).