newbie questions about OG cultivation
I'm new to the world of OGs but I'm already starting to be obsessed! We're in the high desert of the Southwest, marginally Z7. We live on an acre, most of which is open space, i.e. native cactus, wildflowers, grass and rocks. Several of the conifers have died in the recent drought. I'd like to do this area over, adding xeric shrubs, trees, grasses and perennials to make it more colorful and less harsh.
Because it's a large space I want to start as much from seed as is reasonable. I'm planning to winter sow a few grasses - I note that several on this forum suggest this which is encouraging.
I'm thinking of having a number of different grasses, from the big sculptural ones like Erianthus Ravennae, Sporobolus Wrightii, Sorghastrum Nutans, mixed with Nassella Tenuissima, Schizachyrium scoparium, fescue, dropseed, Indian ricegrass, bouteloua. Closer to the house I'd like muhly grasses (capillaris, lindheimeri, rigens). Please tell me if these are good or bad choices? What else would you suggest? We want this area to live on rainfall (average 10" per year normally) if possible.
Questions: will seedlings transplant well? Do I need to protect young plants from rabbits and deer (we have lots of both)? In some books, I've read that little bluestem and Indiangrass are favorites of livestock. Does that mean I'll have to fight off deer all year round? We replaced our bluegrass lawn with buffalo grass. This is inside a wall where we have a cultivated garden area. I have to chase rabbits out several times a day. They *love* the buffalo grass, they dig down and eat the roots.
Thanks for your opinions and advice,