Native lawn update
The lawn is starting to wake up now that the snow is all gone (for now, anyway). I was walking around the lawn and could see that there are large areas that are now entirely native grasses and all of the spots that died when I quite watering last year have native grass growing in them. That's also true of all the spots that just became more sparse without actually dying. I can also see native grass interspersed with the KBG/fescue mix through the rest of the lawn.
The true test will come as I water for the natives (which means when I almost completely stop). That's when I'll see how well the natives have established. The front lawn should be in good shape since the grasses I used there are both rhizomatous. In the back, I used sheep fescue and creeping red fescue. The creeping red fescue is rhizomatous, but it's not very drought tolerant. Compared with KBG it is, but compared with sheep fescue, streambank wheatgrass and western wheatgrass, it's a water hog.
While I was walking around the lawn and checking it out, a new neighbor came by and started chatting. When I told him what I was looking at, he sounded like he might be interested. The water was turned off at his place when he closed, so a big portion of his lawn died. We both have metered water and he really perked up when I told him that I've already been paying about the same as I would if I had the flat rate water and anticipate seeing my water bill drop as I water to favor the native grasses. I also told him that if he really wants to save water, he could go with buffalo grass and blue grama, but only if he wants a lawn that is only green 4 or 5 months a year. I've seen green patches of blue grama at the end of the summer (maybe an inch of rain from mid June through the end of August).