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Time to Go Grassless!

Lots of green, no grass in my front garden

Lots of green, no grass in my front garden

I finally made front page news today!  The San Diego Union Tribune’s front page story was about people removing their lawns as a water-saving measure.  Reporter Mike Lee quoted me as a local expert:

“It’s the beginning of the end of lawn at home,” said Nan Sterman, who teaches a class called “Bye Bye Grass” at the Water Conservation Garden in El Cajon.

Last week, the garden’s managers started a hotline for people to seek advice from Sterman about “water-smart” landscaping.


“It’s not just the early adopters anymore,” Sterman said. “It’s (average) people who are really getting the sense that we have to do something . . . which tells me that it’s becoming part of the mainstream.”

Yes, going grassless it is becoming mainstream.  No longer do people walk by my front garden and scratch their heads, wondering where the grass went, or giving me funny looks when I tell them there never was any grass.
In fact, I just taught a Bye Bye Grass series at Quail Botanical Gardens this past week.  It was a full class of men and women, from all over the county, all of whom came to learn how to get rid of their lawns and replace them with low water plants – and a few with vegetable gardens.

Are vegetable gardens lower water than lawns?  I get this question all the time.  It isn’t that easy to answer but generally, when you water a vegetable  garden the idea is to target each plant.  A lawn, on the other hand, is blanketed in spray. And most vegetable gardens are smaller than lawns.
Either way, as I like to say, if you are going to “spend” water, spend it on something that feeds you.

Click here to read the entire story.

And by the way, if you are interested in getting rid of your lawn, the next series of Bye Bye Grass is April 1 and April 4 at the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College. The next series at Quail Botanical Gardens is May 13 and 17.  To register (which is required) for either series, click here.

The class travels too… in case you have a venue where you’d like to have me teach it!

2 Responses to “Time to Go Grassless!”

  1. Zev Paiss Says:

    Hello Nan!

    What a wonderful Garden Blog you have created. If this can happen in San Diego, it can happen everywhere!

    I wanted to let you know about a national campaign I am spearheading to help stimulate a national move towards growing more of our food closer to home. As you know, as the economic challenges continue to grow, more and more Americans are considering getting involved in local food production.

    As a way to help to accelerate this trend, we have started a very simple campaign called “One Million Gardens” (http://onemilliongardens.ning.com) who’s goal is:

    To identify, encourage, and document the creation of at least 1,000,000 food gardens throughout the U.S. in 2009.

    I was curious if you would take a look at the site, add your garden to the list, and let others know about this campaign. It is also my hope that we can show the Obama administration the growing numbers of people involved in this work and help shift national policies to help encourage these activities.

    Thank you for your work and I hope you will encourage others to add their gardens to this growing list.

    Zev

  2. Yolonda Kellerhouse Says:

    The ability to distribute water fairly and efficiently can also be complicated occasionally by the fact that water resources often span political boundaries. Even though a government wishes to recognize the right to water, its relationship with neighboring nations might impinge upon its ability to accomplish that. Another problem, one who increases in seriousness with each passing year, is there is certainly simply less water to go around. Poor agricultural practices as well as the expansion of the world?s deserts have left some places without water to dicuss of.

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