The Grass is Always Greener

Mark and I love our yard but we definitely have lawn envy.  The grass is for sure greener at the house across the street.  We’ve been trying for three years now to get our lawn in shape and we haven’t been all that successful.  The first year we had no idea what we were doing.  I believe the technical term is “pissing in the wind.”  Last year we did some more research, had our soil tested and came up with a better plan.  In the spring and fall of last year we added lime, aerated and over-seeded and it helped, especially in the back yard which gets more sun.  The front yard, however, due to the enormous oak, still needs alot of work.

We’ll probably never have great grass out there because of all the shade, but we are determined to make it better.  One of the issues we face is the persistence of garlic weed. Basically in the winter and early spring, our lawn looks like this: (click the pictures to make them bigger.)

IMG_0071We’ve already put compost down (something that we didn’t do last year) and we’ve added some lime.  But see those bright green patches?  That’s garlic weed and our yard is thick with it.  The thing about garlic weed is that it flowers in May/June and then goes dormant and kinda disappears so it’s easy to forget about it as spring rolls on.  BUT, the flowering can lead to more of it the following year (as we’ve learned from ignoring it the past 2 years.) So if you’re wanting nicer grass, you’ve got to get rid of it now.

The bad news is, you can’t kill it with sprays and you can’t just pull it up by the stalk.  You have to dig it out.  So yeah, that’s what I’ve been doing.  It took me about 8 hours over the course of three days to get it all up from just our front yard alone.  It was hard work.  Here’s what it looked like when I got it out of the ground:


I tried my best to get most the dirt off and sometimes it was easy and sometimes if you tried to get it all off, the weed would start to fall apart and the roots would fall back down to the ground with the dirt.  Also, another fun fact of this project is that worms love this stuff.  I guess I can see why since garlic is delicious.  In almost every clump I pulled up there was at least one worm.  I tried to save them and put them back in the soil but I am sure I didn’t get them all, sorry worms!

The good news is that now our front lawn now looks like this:


Again, we’re nowhere near winning any Home and Garden awards and with the oak, we likely never will but hopefully the adding of the lime and compost and the removing of the weeds will help our grass grow better whenever it warms up enough around here to start seeding!  We’re also in the process of upgrading our front yard landscape.  You can catch a little sneak peak in the picture above, but I’ll be back with a post or two more about it soon!

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