10.19.2010

Trying for a New Lawn with Lots and Lots of Compost

S aerated the entire yard before 9am, which was great since at 10 the county delivered five cubic yards of leaf mulch to the end of our driveway.
I don't think either of us truly knew how much five yards really was, all we knew is that five yards was only ten dollars more than two and a half yards. Twice as much for only ten dollars more? Sold.

We planned to rake up as much of the weedy yard as possible, over-seed the aerated holes, cover the entire yard with a layer of mulch thick enough to choke out light to the weeds, and seed again. Basically it's a process laid out by Paul Tukey of Safelawns.org with a few dozen extra pounds of seed thrown in.

Have you spread five yards of mulch before? With a shovel, a wheel barrow and a rake? It's no joke; our backs were killing us by 7pm when we finally started to put our tools away. We followed our plan to a T, except for a few more 20 pound bags of seed than we were needed according to the tall fescue mix bag.
We had so much mulch that we were able to mulch around all our plantings too, which we encased in black edging last week, so we knew where to stop spreading seed. We got a little nervous that the seed we spread wouldn't actually germinate through the thick layer of mulch so we spread a bunch more as I was raking to mix it into the mulch. And then we spread more on top at the end of the day, just as we were cleaning up, juuuuust in case. In all we used about 60 pounds of seed. Way more than our little yard needed.

Our entire yard smelled like a manure pile, something we weren't expecting from leaf mulch for some reason even though it makes sense, and something we were a tad embarrassed to subject our neighborhood to. But we don't plan to make turning our yard into a black stink pot a frequent occurrence, so we're plugging our noses and dealing with it.
Our knuckles are turning white from crossing our fingers so hard as we hope that this project actually results in a nice green lawn and not the best-fed weeds in the neighborhood.
Have you ever tried overseeding and spreading compost to improve a lawn? We are really hoping this works!

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