Before our closing date we had our real estate agent call the seller’s agent to re-affirm that we expected all the junk in the backyard (old tub anyone?) and in the house to be removed. Thankfully they complied and we took possession of an entirely empty house and yard.
While the front yard was in good shape and even had some nice landscaping aspects added to it, the backyard had been sorely neglected, so we decided planting grass would make it more liveable. We were grateful that the previous owner had trimmed down most of the giant “weed-garden” so it was at least a more manageable height and not as much of an eyesore.
In the interest of cost savings we started to look into planting grass from seed rather than buying and laying down sod. There are lots of online tutorials on how to do this, for example: this one from Home Depot.
They all seemed geared towards larger yards, so we just read a bunch of tutorials and modified for our little patch of land. There are 2 times a year recommended for seeding, spring and late summer/early fall. Perfect timing…
We bought a combination hoe/cultivator and also a bow rake (sturdier that a leaf rake, used for spreading soil, clearing flower gardens etc.) and got to work digging up the whole backyard, raking out all the weeds and leveling the soil. It didn’t take the two of us that long (less than 2 hours) but man, our teeny tiny patch of land has never felt so HUGE. The quality of the soil we dug up seemed really good and there was a lot of it so we didn’t need to buy any additional soil. We actually didn’t need to buy our grass seed either since Gillian’s parents were in the process of planting a new lawn at their farm and generously offered us a tin of the leftover seeds.
Chris planted the seeds the next morning using a manual shaker and then raked the ground once more and watered it…. Four days of twice daily watering and 2 rain storms later and presto – little grass hairs sprouting! It looks as though our planting worked.
The new lawn was growing in a bit patchy after the first seeding so we ended up re-seeding the bare patches a week later and continued with the twice daily watering so they are filling in nicely now.
We did notice that some of the weeds we pulled out have come back to life and are growing back quickly so we are looking into how to get rid of them. The best defense seems to be a dense and healthy lawn (i.e not mowing it too short), so until ours is grown in enough to cut we are going to pull the weeds out by hand.
Do you use herbicides or are there any natural methods to control weeds on lawns?