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Even a Tiny Bit of Water Makes Things Grow

By   /  April 15, 2019  /  Comments Off on Even a Tiny Bit of Water Makes Things Grow

Check out the super bloom in Tucson, and find out how you can grow one with On Pasture.

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The average annual precipitation here in Tucson is 11.8 inches. That’s not a lot of water and it means that everything that grows here is adapted to take advantage of every little bit that comes. So, when we get a heavy rainfall year, like the 13.5 inches that came in 2018, and it comes at the right time, the result is our very own super bloom.

Catalina State Park was full of flowers.

But for us, the most exciting thing was the grass that appeared in our backyard. We’ve been trying to rehab this little patch of desert that someone bull-dozed about 20 years ago. Some creosote and mesquites and a few palo verde trees made it back, but I was really bothered by all the bare soil. We’ll never have the thick sod that’s found in places with good soil and plenty of water, but our backyard had more bare spots than it should. So we hauled in some compost and we scattered seed…and got nothing.

Until this year. See all that grass? Everywhere you see grass used to be bare ground. We don’t have any idea where it came from either. It may have been in the seed mix that we scattered in parts of the yard, but we didn’t spread this much seed. It just grew, thanks to our abundance of water this year (abundance after all is relative).

Going barefoot in Arizona isn’t really a thing to do. But this spring, I kicked off my shoes and walked in our grass. It felt like feathers on my feet!

We won’t be watering it – that’s also not a thing you do in Tucson because we’re all conserving water. But we are making plans for how we might encourage it next year. Since it’s here holding the soil in place, and hopefully making the soil ready to absorb more water, maybe we’ll throw a little more compost down to help it do it’s job, and scatter some more bags of the rehab seed we’ve already put down.

And that brings me back to On Pasture. We don’t need a lot of water to keep going, but we do need some. Without your support, we don’t have the grant match we need to get the funding that keeps us going. So send a little support today, please! Becoming a monthly supporter is especially helpful because when we ask large organizations for funding it demonstrates that readers have a real commitment to what On Pasture does.

And throwing down a little compost wouldn’t hurt either. Our Conservation Innovation Grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service is the main reason you’ve been getting On Pasture for the last two and a half years. Right now, it would be really helpful if you could let them know that you appreciate their support for what On Pasture does. Send a Thank You, for the ways that On Pasture has made a difference to you. I’ll collect them and forward them on.

We’ve got our roots down, and we’re holding the soil together for you. Your support will help us keep going and growing and creating our own super bloom.

Thanks for reading!


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  • Published: 2 years ago on April 15, 2019
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  • Last Modified: April 16, 2019 @ 8:37 am
  • Filed Under: The Scoop

About the author

Publisher, Editor and Author

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.

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