Checking In

It’s been awhile since I have posted.  Life got in the way this spring and we’ve been behind on house projects.  But the last two weekends have been full ones and I have some posts in the hopper to catch you up on what we have been to around here.  

But first it’s time for “Where Are They Now? Yard Edition.”  When we last checked in with our front yard, it looked like this:

ImageAnd now it looks like this:

ImageCome to mama, look at that grass.  We couldn’t be happier/prouder that after not much luck  failing miserably the last two years, our early spring efforts to lime, compost, slit-seed, and fertilize paid off.  Some people even told us that our large, shade providing oak would prevent us from ever having a full, lush front yard and we are grinning from ear to ear that we were able to prove them wrong.

Our newly landscaped beds are coming along nicely as well.  I was hoping to add more color with some annuals, but the only flowering plant that will grow in that much shade is an impatien and they were hard to come by this year so we’re living without them.  We have also decided to remove the little patch of loriope behind where Gretchen is laying rather than try and add it whole way around.  

So we think our front yard is looking pretty good these days.  We would still like to widen/pave the driveway with bricks or pavers, replace the garage door, and either stain or completely replace the concrete porch steps, but other than those major big ticket projects, we’re pretty much done sir, done out here.  Woot, woot!

Speaking of done sir, done.  I will be back later this week with a full run down, room by room, of what we’ve been able to cross off our to-do list and what we still hope to accomplish in this little house of ours.  Until then, I will be enjoying my grass!





4 thoughts on “Checking In

  1. Found this blog today after YHL gave you guys a shout out. It’s fun to read some of your experiences since we have been remodeling our 1947 colonial here in NoVA for the past several years. Impressive turnaround on the lawn. We also have large trees in our yard that have spoiled all our efforts to cultivate healthy, green grass beneath them. We’ve aerated, composted, and overseeded with no luck. If you have time, I’d love some more details on the specific process you followed, and also to hear how the grass fared through the dry spells we’ve had this summer.

    • Hi Andrew, welcome! Have you had your soiled tested? If you haven’t, I would start by doing that. We did it last fall and realized that we needed to add alot of lime because oak trees are really acidic. So last fall we limed, aerated, and over-seeded. Then, this spring we limed again, and then followed with a layer of compost. A few weeks later (timing isn’t really important) we rented a slit-seeder and seeded the yard that way. This worked alot better than straight over-seeding. Our neighbor owns a lawn company and came by with some new fertilizer that is specifically for shaded areas. The combination of all of these things seemed to do the trick. While it did thin out a little with the extra shade and heat of the summer, it stills looks much better than previous years. I’ll do a update post soon so you can see. If you’re interested in professional help, my neighbor is Spiro Manolas and he owns Green Blades Inc. lawn care (703) 801-3967. He’s got a degree from VA-Tech and really knows his stuff!

      • Thanks for the info. We bought and used a soil testing kit at Home Depot a while back (which surprisingly showed that our soil was fine), but your suggestion reminded me that it’s time to get a real test from the local co-op.

        Look forward to the updated post, but this information was really helpful to get me started. My wife doesn’t want to use fertilizers on the lawn given our two small kiddos, but I’ll see if Spiro has any other suggestions that might work for the shade.

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