More Grass Will Disappear in Front Yard

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From Front – w

On the west side of the front yard (left side of picture) stands a large, old avocado tree. Its avocados are small and have large pits with little edible pulp – though Milo finds plenty to eat. Still, since the house faces south, this tree provides important shade, especially in the hot summer. The tree looks a bit stressed and I am hoping to improve its condition.

There is an active honeybee hive in the tree that we made several unsuccessful attempts to remove since it is so close to the front door. Perched high on a ladder, my husband sprayed the hive. The bees returned. He reascended and sprayed it and covered the hole with screen. The bees returned and ate through the screen. He sprayed it again and covered it with a metal screen. The bees returned again, and ate through the metal screen. We called in an arborist who sprayed it and washed out the hive, making sure that water wouldn’t collect in the cavity. He saw no rot, probably because the hive is active and clean. The bees returned. We now live in harmony with the bees.

From Front – w

Around the base of the tree is a spider plant groundcover. I have allowed it to spread and get out of control, although I have kept the crown of the tree clean.

From Front – w

In front (that is south) of the tree and the groundcover is St. Augustine grass.

From Front – w

The area of grass is approximately 24 ft. wide by 16-18 ft. deep.

From Front – w

My plans are to remove the groundcover, water more deeply and eventually convert the entire area to a woodland garden planted with Douglas irises, woodland strawberry, coralbells, and keckiella. This is an extension of the planting on the northeast side. There will be a lot of organic mulch, but I hope to get the area filled in well with a predominance of Douglas irises.

The irrigation system should work well with the change. The St. Augustine area is on its own zone with four rotary heads. The north end of the bed has four spray head that are on the same zone as the spray heads on the northeast side of the front yard. This is fine since the entire north end of the front yard is shady and has large trees dominating the space.

So the first step is to start digging out the groundcover and there is no time like the present. Stay tuned for more pictures and plans.

Milo is really tired from digging out 2 cans full of spider plant. Dogs really do work hard!

From Front – w

7 thoughts on “More Grass Will Disappear in Front Yard

  1. Anonymous

    I can appreciate that the bees are not in a good location for you but it is not a good idea to spray (kill) the bees — just find a local beekeeper to take them. They’re beneficial. Good luck with your front yard.<br /><br />Food for thought:<br />

  2. I tried to find a bee keeper before anything else. I asked around, checked with lots of people and on line and couldn’t find anyone to take them out. The hive is in a fairly inaccessible place too. That would have been my first choice also.<br /><br />Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. Kathryn/

    Oh, gosh. You do know that avocados can make dogs really really sick, right? Please google. Thanks. Just watching out for Milo. 🙂

  4. Thanks for your concern. I didn’t know that avocados can make dogs really sick. Milo has been eating them for years. He doesn’t eat a whole lot, but he eats them. Why is it bad for them? I thought it was good for his coat.

  5. Barbara, good luck with those bees. <br />My daughter lived in an old house with a very old,very large tree that had this tremendous hollow quite high in the tree. It was between the street and house out front.Feral honey bees must have been there for years as it was a huge colony. We called around and spoke to several bee keepers and the people at the Little Red School House nature center(they

  6. Gloria – thanks so much for this. It reassures me that we are okay with the bees, though we have had no problems for the past 11 years. And as I said, our attempts to remove them failed anyway. I like to watch them come and go, and sometimes they even swarm – which is pretty cool.

  7. Dear Kathryn,<br />I did do a google search on avocados and dogs, and right you are, avocados can make dogs sick. Sounds like the pit is more of a choking hazard than the avocado fruit toxicity issue. And of course there is the weight gain issue. I will have to watch out that Milo doesn’t choke on the pit, and limit how much he eats. He does love them so! Thanks for your concern and good advice!

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