Monday, August 20, 2012

In the Beginning the house was typical of every other house in every sub-division, Bradford Pear tree in the front yard, plain shrubs in the front  and a mix of grass, weeds, rocks and construction fill  for a yard. I threw a ton of grass seed down, sprayed gallons of weed killer and fertilized the hell out of it to no avail. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong!

Finally one day I decided to dig up those ugly and neglected shrubs from the front of the house. I grabbed my shovel and slammed it into the dirt with all my strength, I immediately broke the handle on my shovel and almost broke my thumb. I quickly realized the dirt here in Indiana was not the same dirt that I was used to growing up in Illinois. Where I live in Indiana is nothing but very hard clay, almost as hard as concrete, I was used to the nice black soil I had in Illinois that was like potting soil compared to what I had now.

After a couple shovels and a sore thumb I decided something had to be done about the dirt. I figured if I added nice top soil on the yard, grass would grow. It did for about a month or two, then it would die. The Problem was that the hard clay was still underneath and the roots couldn't penetrate it. That's when I decided to go all in, I borrowed a tiller from a neighbor, got about 1 ton of top soil and compost,  way more grass seed than what the bags recommended and 2 bales of straw. I tilled up the hard clay, added the top soil and compost and began to till that it as well. When it was a nice loose mixture I leveled out the yard and started spreading the seed down until it completely covered the dirt. Then I covered it all with the straw and watered.

My neighbors thought I was nuts for tilling up my whole yard, for 2 weeks it was nothing but straw for a front yard, then one day I got impatient and raked up some of the straw and to my amazement was a beautiful green carpet underneath!

After that, I just had to do some annual fertilizing, aerate it once every couple years and keep the neighbors weeds out of it. Now I have the greenest yard on the block,  weed free and low maintenance. Half the time I don't wear shoes when I mow(for safety reasons I wouldn't recommend it) because it is like walking on carpet now.

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