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Hays couple re-landscapes yard to reduce outside water use





Bermuda sod was rolled out Thursday at 17th and Main as Hays City Attorney John Bird took measures to cut his outside water consumption.

What was considered water-wise landscaping seven years ago when Bird and his wife, Carolyn, planted fescue grass, put in a drip system and xeriscaped the corner lot surrounding their historic three-story home, just doesn't fit the bill for water conservation during the drought conditions of the last two years, according to John Bird.

He said he anticipates the Bermuda grass will use 80 percent less water than the property's former fescue lawn.

"I thought it was probably appropriate with my public position, and frankly, my position here on Main Street, that I try to set a little better example," Bird said, pausing outside city hall Thursday evening. "I felt we were being a little hypocritical with all the stuff that we're expecting all the people here to do.

"Also, hopefully, people will see that they do have some options here."

Bird said he was pleased with the look of the Bermuda grass, and not just a little pleased to see storm clouds gather Wednesday night, which brought more than 2 inches of rain.

It's been a banner year for bermuda and buffalo grass plantings, according to Darran Riedel, owner of Riedel Garden Center. Riedel said Bird's lawn project was one of his company's two local bermuda sodding projects in Hays this summer. Many of his customers have opted for buffalo grass. Five buffalo sodding projects have been done by Riedel's this summer, along with the sale of 3,600 pounds of new variety buffalo grass seed.

"That is more buffalo seed than we've sold in the last five years combined," Riedel said.