Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Lawn Challenge

About two years ago, we moved off of our old tree-less, heavy traffic block onto a much quieter, tree-lined street. The street trees stand 50-70 feet tall and provide wonderful shade. Unfortunately, they make it almost impossible to grow a decent lawn.

Shortly after we moved in, the sewer line along the side of our house collapsed. We hired a contractor to replace the line, but when they were through, they had destroyed the lawn in the gangway between our neighbor's house and ours.

Three tries later, it looks like we've finally gotten the upper hand at reestablishing the side lawn. Now the problem is the main front lawn.

Like on the side, we're now on our third attempt to reestablish the front lawn. We've seeded it once (no luck), and sodded it twice. The last attempt at sodding ended with mixed results. We had to go to three separate nurseries to find enough sod. Not that our yard is very big-it isn't-it was just because the nurseries we're all sold out of their supply of sod.

So, unfortunatley, we wound up with an inconsistent quality of sod. The heartier sod seems to be making it...barely. But the lesser sod is quickly dying out. Our plan now is to overseed the whole thing this fall, and hope to thicken the lawn with new grass. But to date, seeding efforts seem to be futile.

Don't get me wrong...I'd much rather have our canopy of awesome shade trees and struggle to maintain the lawn than have a green lawn and bake in the summer sun. Nonetheless, it sure would be great to have a beautiful green lawn in our front yard. Given that a lot of the neighbors are able to grow a decent lawn, maybe there's hope yet.


Anonymous said...

If the grass won't grow, maybe then consider a shade garden. Hostas, ferns, shrubs and the like can make for a very low maintenance yard.

Rick Bonasch said...

That is a good idea. There is a stone walkway we were thinking about pulling up and re-setting. Combing that project with a shade garden might work. The other possibility would be to leave intact the part of the lawn that's growing, and convert the struggling lawn to a shade garden. About a third of the front yard is already a shade garden, so essentially, all we'd have to do would be to expand it...I wonder when we should start planting...

Anonymous said...

I've found the best time to plant is generally either May or October for a variety of perennials and bushes. Just be sure to help out Mother Nature if isn't raining much, but don't overdo it either. The milder weather seems to ease new root balls into tough soil, and be sure to make your holes wider than your plants so the new roots don't have an uphill battle.