Bye Bye Weed Patch   Leave a comment

The big project this weekend was (re)seeding the lawn, and boy am I feeling it. In an odd way this project was/is both horrifing and exciting to me. I’ll start with the good.

When we moved into this house it had been vacant for about two years. That means two summers in Sacramento with no watering. We were told by the neighborhood kids that at some point the weeds got overwhelming and someone mowed it all down, but other than that there was no maintenance done. As a result most of the area was just a dirt patch with a few patches of grass, and there were a large number of woody-stemmed weeds that only got worse when we moved in and started watering. Since we closed on the house in July, there was nothing to be done at the time but trim the weeds. Surprisingly, despite my desire for beauty the aesthetic hasn’t bothered me that much, probably since we have all the pretty rose bushes near the house. But I still know that a completely unmaintained yard has got to be really bad feng shui, and is especially undesirable right now since we would like to foster good luck and bring good things (specifically, a healthy baby) into this house. Plus, I figure that our neighbors would prefer we not have a dirt and weed patch, and I want good relations with our neighbors. So it is exciting to try to turn the blank dirt canvas into a something living. (Oh, yeah, and my dad bred a sick love of yard work into my soul.)

So why am I horrified? In general I hate lawns. Some lawns have purpose, and I have no problems with them; but most lawns just sit there looking boring and bland, consuming excessive water and synthetic fertilizers, and not supporting local ecosystems. It horrifies me that I am ON PURPOSE actually planting one of those monstrosities. A big huge expanse of boring grass that sucks up water. Not only that, but since we’re planting from seed I am actually having to water DAILY, instead of my usual weekly watering. The mantra in the back of my head that I am using to get myself through this is “it’s just yard gesso”. It’s not a permanent lawn, it’s the first step in figuring out the landscaping. Part of it will likely stay lawn so that I have somewhere to hand wash my car, and because I’m afraid that no lawn would hurt our resale value in this water-guzzling part of the world. But we will put in a shade tree, and hopefully some low-water use native plants, maybe edible plants, some flowers maybe… The purpose of the grass is basically to give us a living canvas on which to work. The dead canvas is rather uninspirational.

Hence Saturday was devoted to dethatching (thank you for helping and making me go inside, sitting down, and getting water before I passed out honey!), scarifying, scattering, covering, and watering. And now I’m hoping that the seeds sprout and live so that I don’t have to do those latter actions again.

Posted October 10, 2010 by mayakey in gardening, home, water use

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