Tuesday, March 25, 2008

On Vacations and Lawncare

There are a lot of advantages to taking your kids to an at home daycare (if it's a good one), but one disadvantage is that you have to allow for provider's (paid) vacations. In our case, that's two weeks a year, one of which is this week. So yesterday and today I'm staying home with the kids, then the whole family is cramming into our car for a round trip through Michigan and Ohio to see the families of both myself and my wife. (My stepfather is retiring from GM after around 40 years on the job and his retirement party is Friday. I'm sure there's something metaphorical in the notion that the party is at a zoo, but I'm not sure what.) Anyway, it'll be a monumentally exhausting way to blow a week's vacation, but it should be fun too. (Needless to say, after today, there also will be no blogging for me until next week.)

Now, on to my lawn. These two days at home have provided exactly zero time for gaming, unfortunately, as I've had to deal with lawn issues leftover from last year, in which about a 1/3 of my back lawn died during summer droughts. I bought some seed (good quality) and starter fertilizer last week and yesterday I set about raking up the dead sod and trying to loosen up the soil underneath.

Wow, was that a pain in the ass, for something I'm fairly sure I'm not doing right and will produce only moderately successful results. I could peal away the larger sections of sod like it was dead skin. Some of it I broke up into small chunks and left on the lawn, the larger sections I dumped into two large garbage bags. (I have no idea if there's a better way to dispose of this stuff. Seems a waste.)

Once that was done, I mowed the grass that was still there very short (it grew a fair amount more than I expected between its last mowing and the onset of winter) and then spread (with a spreader) the new grass seed and fertilizer. (Including overseeding the front yard which also had a bunch of smaller dead patches.) I then did, what was probably, a very poor job of watering down the entire lawn (I was exhausted and needed to wrap it up, so I could make dinner for the family), which the seed bag indicates needs to be done twice daily for three to four weeks. More likely I'll only get to it once a day at best.

Of course, today is the most windy day we've had in a couple months and I'm paranoid that the seeds are going to be blown right off the deadest areas of the lawn, where there's very little leftover grass to shield it. It's also about 20 degrees cooler than yesterday's forecast had indicated, so I'm not even sure if there's any point at all in watering today. If all my work yesterday was for naught, it'll be monumentally disappointing.

So, what say you, dear readers? If you know more about this pseudo-landscaping work than I (this is setting the bar pretty low), does it sound like I'll be able to look forward to some nice new green grass a month from now? Or am I going to spend the summer looking depressingly at all the barren dirt in my backyard?