Monday, May 5, 2014

weekend update

So, the yard, then. When we moved in, there was a small grass lawn which required the running of the in-ground sprinkler system. Then that crapped out, and we felt bad watering grass that was — clearly — not a southwestern variety adapted to a drier environment (old pic from the real estate listing):

So we stopped watering, and the grass died, and the bindweed took over. Hey! It was green! With pretty pink flowers! Didn't need watering! At all! Of course, it's like the kudzu of the Southwest. It will eat your house. And your patio:

So we started systematically killing it, leaving us with a lovely dirt yard that the dog enjoyed digging holes in. Every year, I bought a bunch of Blue Gramma grass seed (or sometimes the Blue Gramma / Buffalograss lawn blend), always forgetting that watering will germinate every other weed seed in the dirt, smothering any little grass sprouts. Sigh. So last summer and fall, I've been watering, digging under what comes up, watering more, spraying the bindweed and the common mallow (Malva neglecta, also known as dwarf cheeseweed, lol) with Roundup. By this spring, we had a very dead L-shaped patch, facing the raised bed, and up along the patio.

I told you that story so I could tell you this one: I bought a pound of clover seed mix and 2 flats of Blue Gramma grass plugs. Spent Saturday afternoon prepping the yard, spreading seeds, mulching with straw, covering the straw with bird netting, and putting up a perimeter of flag tape to keep the dog out.

Adding mushroom compost dirt + raking it flat:

Yum Yum Mix! Used all of the container Stacy gifted me in prep for her move back to NYC (sob!).

Here's the clover mix:

Clover mix + binder and leftover Blue Gramma / Buffalograss mix from last year:

Seed sowed + raked in:

Straw mulch. These photos are super boring, right? I'm trying to convey the endless nature of this project. Just go with it.

Straw mulch with netting and flag tape. Sometimes the dog won't step over things on the ground, but this did nothing.

Bamboo stakes with flag tape about 1 foot off the ground. Dog could go under or over easily, but (so far) shows no interest. I even tried to tempt her in with cookies. Hey look! I took a "break" and dragged out all the patio furniture! What's Irish and sits in the shed all winter?

Sunday afternoon was spent planting all 144 fricka fracka grass plugs. Rip hole in netting, push straw aside, dig hole, fill with SUPERthrive® (also from Stacy) and water, insert plug, tamp down dirt, re-cover with straw, repeat. Ugh.

6 x 12 cells per flat x 2 flats = 144 plugs

The first row! So not bored yet!

Rows and rows and rows and rows and rows ...

The finished planting:

Oh also, while cleaning up, splashed muddy water all over the (old) digital camera. Feel free to send all your good wishes, healing white light, and other assorted woo this way.

No comments: