Friday, November 7, 2008

Waste in Pomona (Phillips Ranch)

On my way to school yesterday afternoon I saw this in the Phillips Ranch district in Pomona.

First, let's talk about the turf, the unused lawn. There is about a six foot wide buffer of turf between the street and the sidewalk. Because it is between a sidewalk and the street, no one, seriously no one is going to use that lawn area. Now for those of you that don't know, turf-grass is used as a standard for measuring water use. It's like this: Turf-grass is considered 100% water use, ALL other nursery stock plants are considered a percentage of the amount of water that Turf-grass uses. California native and California friendly plants are usually between 10% and 30 %. MOST nursery stock that people plant are between 60% and 90%, only turf-grass is 100%.

So the fact that no one is going to USE this turf-grass is a complete waste of water. But what else is going on here? A broken sprinkler! This sprinkler is SPEWING water out, wasting GALLONS more than normal, and our tax dollars are paying for it.

First solution? Fix the sprinkler. THEN, if the Phillips Ranchers really want a turf-grass like buffer for their sidewalk, they can replace it with Carex pansa (or Carex texensis) Carex Pansa is a California native and looks and acts and feels JUST like turf grass (Carex texensis is naturalized in California) and since it is a sedge and not a grass (the untrained eye would never tell the difference) it even looks great if you mow it only twice a year! It'll even save some gasoline!

(if you're wondering why I'm driving a mercedes and I claim to be a starving student, it's because it's an oldie, a 1984 diesel that i bought for 1,000 bucks, It will be running on waste vegetable oil soon, like my isuzu pickup)


meg said...

I was gonna tease you about your pimpmobile, but then I figured it was biodiesel.

How much effort is involved in uprooting our current legacy crap-grass and planting Carex pansa, anyway?

Anduhrew said...

little to none actually

Ed said...

Where do you find it? How much soil preparation?

Anduhrew said...

unfortunately it is not a common nursery stock. I know John Greenlee carries it in Chino. So laws of supply and demand. There is Little demand so there is Little Supply and that also makes it more expensive. (but you'll make your money back in water saved and gas saved from mowing.)

As far as preparation, it is the same as any other lawn preparation. Take out whatever exists. I would plant these in plugs spaced apart maybe 6 inches to a foot and allow it to spread naturally, it'll take about 6months to fill in, and save you some cash. the benefit from plugs vs. the insta-lawn sod, is that it allows the roots to grow in the native soil, soil differences from laying sod can be a bigger problem then people realize. future post topic! I'll take pics of a Pomona Home with the Carex Pansa Lawn.

ren said...

In some cities they have what they call WATER POLICE if they see water running down the street its ticket time.

Anduhrew said...

Who would we ticket for this one? IT is in public space, so it'd either have to be the councilperson of the district or the mayor. Elliot Rothman?