The lawn maintenance contract for the yard next door was on the market this spring and guess who had the winning bid? Yours truly! The field of entries was stacked with lawn doctors and local landscaping companies and when the offers were reviewed my bid of zero dollars for time and labor rose to the top. Last year I was already doing the mowing, but some chem-lawn was handling the other stuff… now it’s all me.
Without boring you with the details (your welcome to ask for more info if interested) my lawn care consists of the following: use an (expensive) quality blend of grass seed (I don’t like rye grass, so the less of that the better), use the cheapest plain old fertilizer you can find (I usually go for the K-grow from that K-store), mow on the high side and if it doesn’t bother you leave the clippings on the lawn. Forget everything else.
Because I don’t water, the lawn was completely dead from late July on, but as soon as rain and cooler temperatures arrive it comes back fast. To get it prepared for this rebirth I gave the dead lawn a close haircut without a bag and left all that thatch wherever it fell. I threw around some of the cheap fertilizer and waited for the fall to do its magic. Two weeks later and two weak rain storms and it’s started to green up again…. although I did do a little supplemental watering for my MIL’s yard (we’re still 8″ short of normal for rain this year….)
The patchy spots will fill in over the next week or two as that grass comes back to life, but it’s real important to get the lawn nice and thick now so that it’s too dense for crabgrass seeds to sprout next spring. Also never cover the whole lawn with grub killer. Grub killer may kill grubs for a season, but it also kills off the earthworm population, and there’s nothing better than earthworms for free fertilizing, free aeration, and free thatch removal.
The down side to all this is that lawn mowing is back on the to-do list. My lawn can still wait a week, but the extra water next door means mowing this weekend. Oh well, the clippings will give the earthworms over there a well deserved end of summer snack!