Back in town; evil lawns in the LA Times

I'm back from 10 days in Germany. I'll try to post some impressions later.

I do notice that one of my favorite topics is in the Home and Garden section of the LA Times: lawns as Public Enemy No. 1.

Edit 11 July 07: I don't hate all lawns, just the sterile, unused, chemical, over watered ones. In the interests of keeping an open mind, I've stumbled upon a turf grass called UC Verde, developed by the University of California for arid climates. I've not seen this mentioned elsewhere, despite its availability since 2003. Obviously, not a native, but perhaps worth investigating.


  1. Why does water=green anyway?

    Quick web search suggests that when vegetation gets "cooked," the chlorophyll gets damaged with the central magnesium being replaced by hydrogen ions, and the green color turns yellowish. So maybe it's a temperature thing, keep the chlorophyll cool?

    I wonder if you could breed a grass that would stay green even when dry. (Or dead?!?) Perhaps that's sort of the point of this UC Verde.

  2. The UC Verde grass turns out to be named cultivar of buffalo grass, which is no doubt selected for its longer active growing season.

    I seem to remember doing chlorophyll extractions with hot alcohol, so I doubt the temperature idea, but maybe there's a breakdown reaction that is favored by pH changes (for instance) when there's less water present.

    Bamboo stays often stays yellow when dead. Maybe you could breed down from small bamboo to a turf-sized grass.