It's been a long, terrible winter, but it's finally getting warmer, staying light longer and Deadliest Catch is coming back soon. We can almost start to enjoy having a house again. Tonight we worked on the lawn to achieve Nilda's dream of an organic lawn. Here's what we did:
- Dethatch: I had no idea what this meant two weeks ago, but apparently there's a layer of dead grass called "thatch" that can build up and suffocate the lawn. You take it out by using a special rake to rip up the thatch and take away, but that's way too much work so we had the lawn people do it this morning. Lawn people are your friends. And they leave about 20 brown paper bags filled with thatch on your driveway.
- Aerate: When soil gets compacted and unable to properly drain water, it can hurt the grass. You can aerate it by punching little holes in the soil or using a chemical aerator. I don't see how the chemicals is the way to go, but Nilda assures me this is part of her organic lawn plan. She sprayed the aerator this afternoon.
- Top soil: We put top soil over the bare spots. I gather this is supposed to give the seeds something to grow in, but I imagine this will mean the spots on our lawn that consistently flood will have the healthiest mud on the block.
- Overseed: This is putting new grass seed on top of the lawn. Because apparently that's something you're supposed to do. Nilda, after hours of research, picked out this very special kind of grass seed that has micro-clover and is supposed to be drought and weed resistant, It must have vitamin c or something. We were going to do this over the weekend, but the lawn people said we should do it now since it's supposed to rain tonight and that will make it harder for the seeds to sink in. I got home a little early around 6 and we got to work.
- Fertilizer: After using the nifty rotary spreader to put down the seeds (because we have one of those now), we put Milorganite on the lawn. Dad tells me that Milorganite is actually sewage from Milwaukee, which means it's very possible we have Matt and Mary's poop on our lawn. Happy birthday, pookiebear.
- Compost: By now it's dark and Charlie is screaming his head off to go inside, but we have to put down the lobster-shell compost Nilda picked out on top of the grass, known as top dressing. We had planned to use the spreader for this too, but soon learned that the compost, which is basically dirt to me, does not go through the spreader, so we were just throwing it around by hand in the dark. Don't worry, I had watched one of the many youtube videos Nilda had sent me in advance, so I knew what to do.
What all of this means is that you can never predict what kind of crazy obsession Nilda will pick up next. When the girl who grew up in the city and did not want anything to do with yard work spends hours - hours - looking at pictures of shrubbery on line, you never know what will come next. She even got a compost bin. Nothing is safe.