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The Grass isn’t growing. New strategy

The Grass isn’t growing. I read somewhere in a google search that “after two weeks, grass should have lightly sprouted and is ready for light traffic.” In fact, it was something less that two weeks. Ten days or something. Regardless, our grass wasn’t doing squat.

Day 12 - April 18

This is what it looked like on day 12. I know you can’t really look all that closely, but i’ll sum it up for you: Nothing was happening. I attribute this to a couple things.

  1. I don’t know what I’m doing. This is kinda an overarching reason, and may invalidate every reason below
  2. Lack of rain/poor watering
  3. Low Temperatures
  4. Poorly prepped soil

Poor Soil Prep

A lot of times, “growing grass” lessons begin with “Now that your soil is well prepped, blah, blah, blah”. A significant omission is *how* to prep your soil. What I think i did wrong is that it wasn’t loose enough. I had hoed everything & loosened it all up about two weeks before seeding – which gave it plenty of time to settle. With this whole “new strategy” thing I mentioned in the headline, I rectified this. I’ll tell you later, after I explained how I screwed up reasons three and two.

Low Temperatures

This spring has just been weird. It was unseasonably warm in March, then it got unseasonably cool in April. And since then it swings back & forth between warm & cold and can’t just freakin settle on “seasonable”. Most seed grows ideally when temperatures are consistently in the 60’s. (a domesticated friend of mine claims that it needs to be in the 60’s AT NIGHT, but I’m conveniently ignoring him on that one). We may have jumped the gun a bit because after seeding on hard soil, the temperatures stuck in the mid 50’s at best.

Water

Everyone tells me how grass takes a lot of water. I believe this. It’s not really feasible for me to completely saturate the soil, since it’s gonna drain sometime around the time I’m passing out after lunch at work. Then what? Thirsty, thirsty grass seed. Also, we’ve been reprimanded by our landlord for using too much water, so I’m trying to watch it on that.

SOLUTIONS

Clearly everything i was trying was failing. So I waited until this weekend to try again. Why?

  1. It’s warmer
  2. It was supposed to rain for three days in a row
  3. Since I was thinking about it, i could re-prep the soil
    1. Soil Prep - fertilizer & stuff

      In the morning, when it was sunny, I mangled the rest of the dirt again, loosening it all up. Then i grabbed all this stuff from our shed:
      Products I used

      A soil repairing mix, a fertilizer mix, and some sunny grass seed. All this stuff got tossed onto the soil, and I raked it over to mix it all up. Instead of the seed laying on top of hard soil, it was now mixed in, not too deeply, with fertilizer.

      And then it rained. It rained a lot. Like, from 6pm Saturday until 3am Monday morning. It’s still supposed to be in the 50’s at least for the next day or so, but I feel a lot better about the way this is starting out. We’ll see.

Grass. Day One.

If you look closely, you might notice a few smears of green stuff out there. It is my goal to revive the grass in this yard and watch it flourish into a bed worthy of tanning my pallid butt on. Between enthusiastic, relentless weeding of the patchy mess that covered this plot when we moved in, and frequent trampling by barbecue guests and frantic Brussels Griffons, this yard turned into a very bare double strip of dirt. Perhaps I should’ve left well enough alone. Perhaps we should cover the whole thing with stones, considering how much water it takes to grow grass and the fact that we’ve already gotten in trouble with our landlord for using so much water. But I like green. It’s gonna look really nice.

This is what it looks like, as of today. I’ve just spread a mix of Sunny and Sun/Shade Kentucky Bluegrass all across the lawn. I mixed in some fertilizer into the spreader, and then tossed some loose dirt all over, to help the seeds take root. I’m sure I read that somewhere. Then I watered the crap out of it, and I will continue to do so every morning until we start collecting rainwater somehow. Of course I will still continue watering it, but I’ll feel less guilty about it if we’re doing more recycling with it.

For reference, this is what it looked like when we moved in. Very green. Very overgrown. Maybe I messed up, but I swear, that grass was terrible, once we got it trimmed down. It was hard to mow, because it grew in several different directions – as opposed to simply “up”.