Previously we had rejected the idea of planting grass in the Roundhouse garden. The amount of water needed to keep it green during the dry season was prohibitive. But our gardening expert Rosando told us about a local grass called tepi that used surface roots to form a dense carpet that would hold in moisture. Carmelo told us that his wife's grandmother had plenty on her farm in a neighbouring village. So it was simply a matter of harvesting the turf, dividing it into smaller root clumps and then re-planting it in our garden. We decided to plant the grass on the steepest slope to prevent soil erosion - in times of heavy rain this area could become a muddy riverlet.
Regular heavy rain in January helped the tepi roots to spread quickly and our soil erosion problem was soon in the past. We still had a long way to go to prepare and plant such a large area, but we were so happy to have such a large expanse of green.
|Carmelo showed our volunteer Nick how to separate out the grassy roots.|
|Nick enjoyed planting the grass - said it was a meditation.|
|More volunteers joined in while Carmelo prepared the ground for planting.|
|Soon we had the beginnings of a lawn.|
|Carmelo patiently prepared each section, removing stones, coarse grass and adding manure.|