Everyone appreciates a well-maintained and manicured lawn. But did you know that having an attractive yard adds to your home's value? According to Washington State University, a well cared for lawn can increase your property value anywhere from 5% to 15%. Even if you're not planning to sell your home, your neighbors will appreciate the fact that you have a beautiful lawn, and visitors to the city will too. Even if your home is not on Tacoma's list of famous landmarks, it still adds to the city's overall aesthetic.
Native Grasses to Plant
Washington, along with the greater Pacific Northwest region, is characterized by a wet, humid climate for part of the year. Summers generally bring warm temperatures and sunny skies. Elevation and proximity to the coast or the mountains are other influential factors on the climate. It's important to consider Tacoma's geographical location when trying to grow native grasses. The following species are specially adapted to the Tacoma climate:
- Leafy reed grass
- Pacific reed grass
- Kentucky bluegrass
Needlegrass grows throughout a wide stretch of the Pacific Northwest, including up into British Columbia. It thrives in cooler temperatures and is adapted to the cool, shady forest floors of Washington's woodlands. Needlegrass is not as common to see now as it once was because it has suffered habitat loss over the past few decades. Although it is not as prominent in the wild, it can still easily grow in your yard. In fact, planting the grass on your property can help keep the species alive. And it will add an attractive blue-green hue to your front yard. It also produces small flowers in the spring. And since it requires minimal rain, it is a grass you don't have to water much in the dry summer time.
Bluejoint historically grows in marshes, forests, and swamps. It is a hardy species with deep roots, making it a great choice if you're looking to minimize erosion and soil run-off. Since it is a native species, Bluejoint also provides sustenance for native wildlife and insects.
The reedgrass family includes several species. Two that thrive around Tacoma are Leafy reed grass and Pacific reed grass. Leafy reed grass also grows in Oregon and California. It reaches a mature height of about two feet, and it is adaptable to a variety of climates. In May, small decorative blooms appear on the grass and last through August. The stalks are a blue-green color, and the flowers have a distinct wispy shade. This grass prefers a moderate amount of rainfall and lightly shaded areas. Although it belongs to the same family, Pacific reedgrass has different characteristics and qualities. It grows about three to five feet tall when fully mature. The grass is classified as a semi-evergreen, which gives it a distinctive color and impressive durability. As with Leafy reed grass, Pacific reedgrass produces flowers in the springtime with a feathery bloom. However, Pacific reedgrass changes color down the road from a blue-green color to the color of straw. This grass grows in clumps and prefers slightly cooler climates.
Cottongrass produces beautiful, pillowy white tufts that resemble cotton puffs, hence the name. In the wild, hardy Cottongrass generally grows on northern-facing slopes. It grows in clusters of grasses that reach three feet in height and have tall, pointed stems. Cottongrass' color ranges from a blue-gray to a blue-green hue. Its picturesque white flowers start to appear in April and bloom through June. Moderate moisture levels are best for this grass, but it can also withstand drought.
Kentucky bluegrass is native to Washington, and to many other parts of the country as well. As the name implies, Kentucky bluegrass is native to Kentucky. However, it grows well in many other places too, since it is quite versatile and adaptable to a variety of climates. When planted in your yard, it gives the property a lovely lush green hue. Since the grass is attractive, it is commonly used in residential properties and commercial landscaping. It is also hardy and durable but does best when it is not in direct sunlight or high heat, notes Washington State University.
Even if you're busy planting grass, don't miss a chance to visit some of Tacoma's landmarks. There are many significant landmarks in the city that you should make time to see. These are some of the best.
The federal courthouse is one of the oldest and most majestic establishments in Tacoma. Beautiful architecture and glasswork in the lobby are some of the most appealing aspects of the courthouse. The federal courthouse still operates today.
Fort Nisqually Living History Museum
The Fort Nisqually Living History Museum pays homage to Fort Nisqually, which was once one of the most significant fur trading and farming posts in the region. Although the fort no longer stands, visitors can still get a sense of its original spirit by the artifacts and relics that have been preserved over time. Adding to the museum's unique place in Tacoma's history is the fact that it was the first European settlement in Puget Sound. Along with the historic buildings, visitors get a glimpse in the 1800s through various activities, including 19th-century games, conducted at the museum.
Tacoma Narrows Bridge
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge is a dual-suspension bridge that covers the Tacoma Narrows in the Puget Sound. It connects Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. The bridge was constructed in 1940 and collapsed during that same year. When it was built, the bridge was the third longest in the world. Strong winds measuring 40 MPH caused the main section to sway and collapse. A replacement bridge, which now stands in its place, opened to traffic in 2007.
Tacoma is equally diverse in its natural history and its human history. You can keep history alive, and make a difference in today's city, by planting durable, native grass seeds. Having a beautiful lawn goes a long way in getting respect from neighbors and visitors. If you need assistance maintaining the yard of your dreams, contact Lawn Love for advice.