Digging Bliss

Angela Pratt's pursuit of horticultural nirvana in northern California

Incentives? Maybe. Warnings and citations? No.

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Just saw the Bee headline, Sacramento City council may OK ‘cash for grass’ program. “Cash for Grass” incentives are an intriguing idea, but they have to be well thought out. You’ll give me money if I rip out my lawn and plant… what? Veggies? Ivy? Irish moss? Roses? Hydrangeas? Or can I only plant plants the City deems drought-tolerant, like rosemary and Mexican feather grass?

Will my tony neighbors a few blocks down in the Fab 40s, with their sweeping rows of tulips and grass and thirsty edging plants have to rip it all out or face stiff fines? Or will we all just start watering at night, which we know is bad for plants.

Will we have the Plant Palette Police cruising our streets by day? Will gardeners holding watering cans have to dive into the nearest bush to avoid scrutiny? And what if my front yard is a crispy salute to all things Mediterranean while my private backyard is a sloshing frenzy of grass, fountains, a pool, leaky faucets and frequent hose fights and slip-n-slide fests? Water is water.

Apparently, front yard warnings are already being issued. And what about tiny yards with thirsty plants? And what about my irrigation system? A leaky drip system is no better than sprinklers that run a couple times a week watering a less-thirsty dwarf Fescue lawn.

I’ll bet my lawn uses a gazillion times less water than the new downtown arena’s Farm to Fork display will. Proceed with caution, City of Sacramento. Some of us are pretty fed up with you right now.

Let’s keep an eye on this, Sacramento gardeners. A decision from the Sacramento City Council is expected tomorrow.

One Comment

  1. I would tend to agree. I’m not sold on the idea of completely ripping out all turf because turf isn’t bad for the environment. Grass is good for beneficial insects like earthworms and ladybugs. It also does a great job of growing clover that honeybees need to survive and thrive. I’m leery about this assault on lawns because I believe that some people are taking this “rip out the turf” approach a bit too far. Before we jump off that cliff, let’s study what’s at the bottom first.

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