The Hard Way


Photo by Karen Novak


As frequent readers know, this summer I cut my grass with a weed whacker. (If you’d like more on this insane decision, click here.)  As will surprise no one, this method destroyed my grass.

It was impossible to keep the length even, resulting in patches of scalped grass scattered throughout overgrown spots I’d missed completely. The scalped grass died and weeds grew.  I sprayed the weeds and eventually wound up with a front yard that was almost completely dirt.  The back yard fared a little better, with bare spots checkered through the mostly surviving grass.

No problem.

I researched lawn care (ie watched three You Tube videos at work) and determined I could fix the problem myself. I drove out to Lowe’s and bought lawn soil, Scott’s Patchmaster, and a metal rake.

After three straight rainy weekends, I decided to tackle the project Thursday night after work.

I pulled all remaining weeds and raked up the front lawn. I filled a trash bag with rocks, weeds, and dead grass.  The sun sank lower and lower.  I was spreading lawn soil over the area when my neighbor Joe came out.  As you may recall, Joe cut my grass for the past ten summers but recently gave it up.  He watched in apparent dismay as I spread the soil.

“Is that dirt?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said. “I’m planting new grass.”

He didn’t say anything else. I couldn’t tell if he was feeling guilty about no longer taking care of my yard or if my method was absolutely nuts and he was deciding whether or not to tell me so.  He went inside and I went back to work.  The light was nearly gone.

There’s nothing that gets you moving like the sun setting on a half-finished outdoor project.

By the time I spread the seed, it was completely dark. I had to water the area thoroughly and evenly—the directions were clear on this point.  I turned on the hose only to realize the nozzle was cracked and water flowed everywhere.  It would’ve flooded the new grass for sure.

So with a flashlight and a watering can, I finished the project. It wasn’t perfect, but it was done.  At least, I assume it wasn’t perfect since I couldn’t really see a thing.  I had to confirm the next morning.

And like most of you advised before this all started, I bought a lawnmower.

The weed whacker will be used for trimming only.

What can I say? Sometimes we all have to learn the hard way.

2 thoughts on “The Hard Way

  1. You bought a lawnmower! An excellent decision. The rest of the blog though, I have to agree with your neighbour and his dismay. I couldn’t help but chuckle at your late night gardening (a watering can…that’s dedication!) but I fear it might be all for naught.

    It’s just that it’s autumn, and most outdoor stuff is slowing down, prepping for the long, harsh winter. I know that lots of professionals will say September is the ideal month to sow new grass, but for amateurs like me, I’ve never had any luck…less sun, cold temps. Maybe you’ll fare better in Pennsylvania.

    Whatever the result, you get an A+ for the effort!
    Take some pictures of the progress!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I did break down and buy a lawnmower. I picked out an electric one, so as long as I don’t run over the cord I’m all good.

    Yes, it may not take, but I figure if I got into this winter with the worst yard in the neighborhood, it won’t be for lack of trying! Either way the snow will be covering it soon and I’ll be finished with it one way or another until spring!

    I should’ve taken a before pic! I didn’t think of it. I’ll take some pics today and post the progress on Facebook. Fingers crossed!


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