Off-Grid Living

We have grass!

Our grass at 3 weeks!

When we moved to our homestead one of the first things that I wanted to do was plant grass. I had planted grass before, so I was sure that I could do it again. I prepared the area, planted the seeds, and watered it daily. Unfortunately that was not enough. I don’t exactly know all of the reasons why my grass was a failure, but it definitely was. Since then I have been growing whatever I could grow in this desert that we live in. We have also been working on putting up fences so that we could add more animals to our homestead.

This summer I decided that I wanted to see if I could grow wheat here. I learned that I could grow some wheat, but that I also had to contend with the wild rabbits who were more excited about my wheat than I was, and I was pretty excited.

To grow my wheat I covered my soaked wheat berries with straw to keep the ground from drying out. Because that was somewhat successful I wondered if I could do the same thing for my grass seed and have success. I figured that if I could just get my grass up and out of the ground then I would only have to cover the ground with straw once, and then I could maintain the grass. The biggest obstacle was just getting the grass to grow in the first place.

Fortunately after three weeks I started to see tiny blades of grass growing up. Success!

Here we have grass growing with wild purslane. The grass is growing through the straw we covered the ground with, and we hope it will continue to grow and spread through the next year.

Now as I look around at my test area I know that I can get the grass to grow for a pasture.  However I am pretty sure that I will have to concentrate on getting small areas up at a time.

The reason that I have to do small areas at a time is because I am limited by our solar power (which powers our well). I only have a few hours during the middle of the day where there is enough sun to ‎set our sprinklers and water my grass seed.  Because I have to water the grass daily until I can get it out of the ground, I have to limit myself to starting small sections of grass as a time.

Sometimes our monsoon season lasts for a few weeks where we live,  and we get lots of rain in August and September. Unfortunately this is not always the case, but if we do get a few weeks of rain this fall then I might get a larger area done at one time. If, however,  I put the seed out and it doesn’t rain then the ants, mice, and birds will surely escape with a lot of of the grass seed before it gets a chance to grow.

In the area that I have managed to get grass up I do have several spots where the grass didn’t come up, but I think that I can just reseed next year when what I have planted is well established.

Our grass at 6 weeks!
Our grass at 6 weeks! Our grass is now growing thick and lush. Next spring we will be able to put some of our animals out on our new pasture.

What have I learned from all of this? Well basically I have learned what I keep learning. First to grow things out here I have to keep trying; I have to have patience; I have to keep learning; to be successful I can’t give up.