Friday, February 22, 2008

More Snow

It’s snowing again, gosh darn it! I’ll be amazed if we have another sudden thaw this weekend, so it’s indoor gardening and rowing machine for me again.

A few weeks ago out of desperation to grow something, I converted plastic gallon milk-jugs into mini-greenhouses for the window. I’m using them to grow plugs of grass for our pathetic lawn. The grass seeds were supposed to take between nine days and three weeks to germinate, but the jugs must provide ideal growing circumstances, because at six days I could see stars of “mold” around the seed-ends that was, in fact, roots! I can’t believe how exciting it is to watch grass grow at this time of year. (Though I suppose this shouldn’t surprise me much, seeing as my former hobby was watching paint dry.)

Our lawn was in an amazing state of neglect when we moved in. At that time it was a mix of crabgrass and weeds. I did laps around the yard with a bucket, and got rid of most of the weeds, and the drought at the end of the summer thinned out the crab grass down so low that the dirt shows through. Yuck.

A bit of digging demonstrated that the topsoil is at most six inches deep, and below that is sand and rock, Further yuck.

Chris and I have on and off been researching lawns, and have been looking into various approaches to healthy lawns. We would like an organic lawn, and I would particularly like something that is native and not a monoculture that is useless to the local wildlife. But I have been hard-pressed to find anything native that makes a decent lawn. So, we’ve got a bag of some standard grass seed that isn’t native, and we’re thinking of adding Dutch white clover seeds to the mix. I’ve transplanted four good two-foot-by-two-foot chunks of sod from the garden, as an experiment, and I’ll have my eight indoor-grown plugs by the time Spring rolls around. Maybe if we add compost a bit at a time and continue to fiddle with seeds and plugs, the lawn look better in a few years.

We did contemplate adding six inches of good dirt to the entire lawn, but the vegetable garden stole Chris’ attention, and I can’t say that that upsets me!

No comments: