My boys love sledding in the snow each winter, and are constantly training throughout the rest of the month. Since it’s more like Fall/Spring instead of Winter this year, Henry has stepped up his skills. Here he is surfing down the front yard.
After 3 1/2 weeks of growing grass in my backyard, we are making some progress. The problem areas are still problem areas, but they have good reason to be so. They are starting to fill in but it’s very obvious that in my situation, the new grass literally only grows from the aerated holes. Not much going in the areas that may have filled in because of ponding water. Below is a picture showing the progression over the 3.5 weeks. It really doesn’t look drastically different from the October 5 shot, but that’s because I mowed it for the first time today. In most areas it was super thick and getting too tall, so I’m hoping it will continue to fill in.
Here is a shot from a different angle
Tomorrow will mark two weeks from the day I aerated and seeded my backyard with fescue grass. I started out with weeds and dirt, and am making my way towards some lush green goodness. Here is a picture showing you the progress.
There are several things that I have done differently this time around. For one I have the area roped off which has done a pretty good job of keeping the kids and dog out of the area. That and consistent watering have probably been the biggest factors. I wrote all about the initial process here https://carsonmatthewsblog.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/growing-grass-in-atlanta/ explaining every step plus the ingredients. Hopefully the spots will fill in over the next few weeks before the leaves really start falling.
Growing Grass in Atlanta is not the easiest task in the world. Atlanta is known for having a solid canopy of trees luring above its homes. There are so many wonderful things about our canopy, but growing grass isn’t one of them. I’m sure you have heard it’s pretty hot in Atlanta, but it also gets pretty cool during the fall and winter, which makes choosing your grass a little more difficult. The picture to the right is what our lawn looked like in the Spring of 2010 and what we are trying to get it to look like again. Below is a picture of what it looks like today:
In our front yard we have plenty of sun and are able to grow Zoysia grass which is thick and wonderful. Our back yard is pretty shady with some areas of full sun. Since most of the back yard gets less than 4 hours of sun we are not able to grow Zoysia. Instead we are pretty much stuck with Fescue. Don’t get me wrong, Fescue is a beautiful grass but it takes a bit more care to keep up.
I went to Pike Nursery and met with the store manager who told me more than I could ever retain about growing grass. He set me up with a good game plan and told me everything I would need to get it done right. Here’s what I used:
The first thing I did was spread out the Pike Lawn Starter across my whole back yard. I rented an aerator from Ace Hardware ($50/4 hrs) and with this I killed two birds with one stone. While aerating the dirt, I also worked the lawn starter into the soil which will ultimately help my new grass grow. After majorly disturbing the ground, I used my spreader to lay my grass seed. I used the Atlanta Blend from Pikes for most of the lawn because it thrives in both sun and shade. For the shadiest part of my lawn I used a dense shade mixture from Pennington Seed.
The last part and certainly one of the most important ingredients in the process is water. This has always been a struggle for me because we don’t have an irrigation system installed and I don’t have time to run the sprinkler as much as it needs to be done in order to be effective. So, I went to Lowes and bought this nifty timer that is programmable to ensure your lawn gets the much needed water throughout the day. In addition I got a couple of sprinkler heads that surprisingly cover the lawn perfectly.
This is by far the most effort I’ve put into growing grass in the back yard so I am really hoping it will do the trick. Today is the first day of Fall, we got a soaking rain last night, and the weather looks perfect for growing grass. I’ll let you know how it goes.