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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Unintended Consequences.

Since I have a little bit of free time I try to work on a few projects. The mudbowl that surrounds my front stoop annoys me. People don't want to use the sidewalks for some reason so they'll track mud inside when it is wet. The fact the sidewalk slopes towards my front stoop, thus creating Lake Brian from the runoff might be the reason people find it easier to go through the mud.

Once upon a time grass did grow there. I realize the trees have grown a bit over 30 years, but I'm hoping grass can grow there again. My front door faces east so my grassy area is in shade most of the day. My neighbor, who also faces east, has decent grass so I'm hoping seed will grow.

You can't just throw grass seed on the ground. You have to prep it. Grab a shovel, start digging, and break up the ground. If only it were that easy. The difference between my yard and the neighbors' is I have a large elm(?) tree in it. Tree roots are the enemy of digging. The roots also suck up ground water. That's likely why my grass died in the first place. Grass loses to trees when it comes to water resources. What I calculated to be a 2 hour step took 5 hours. Even without the roots I was overly optimistic, but with them progress was molasses slow. I bent a sawblade cutting through some of the roots.

I'm glad for Daylight Saving Time as it was almost 8:30 pm before I started laying seed down. A very shade tolerate grass seed of course. Toss in some fertilizer and I was almost finished. Most people lay straw down to keep the seed protected from heat and too much water runoff. Lowes had a straw mat embedded in a biodegradable plastic grid. I used some scissors to cut the mat to length and run another row beside to cover my entire area. Punch in some lawn spikes to keep the straw mat in place and now I have a blonde lawn.

Even with DST it was quite dark at 9:45 when I finally stopped watering and went inside. This morning I'm still a little sore, which I expected. I didn't expect the balls of my feet to ache because I spent 4 - 5 hours bouncing on top of a shovel blade. The cushioning of my running shoes feels so good right now. Using stairs is a different story though.

Here is a lawn tip for you: find or rent a rototiller to chop up the dirt for you. Use of gasoline powered technology is your friend.

I can't do anything about the sidewalk and the resulting lake that is created. Hopefully in 2-4 weeks the grass will keep erosion from occurring and at least the lake will be not muddy.

Where's my Advil?

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