Thursday, March 22, 2012

Why didn't I think of this sooner?

Well, to be fair, I thought of it. Just never acted on it.

One reason I dreaded the annual compost top dress was how tedious just getting the compost is. (Not to mention days of manual labor moving it around.) I'd been driving to the county dump with my little Jeep-towed trailer, buying it a yard at a time. Getting just one load rarely takes less than 45 minutes. A half hour if all the stars align.

This yard is way too big. It needs around 15 yards of compost for the annual top dress. That probably cost me 10 hours or more, just driving back and forth to the dump and waiting my turn.

I'd always wondered about delivery but never inquired until this year. The price per yard is the same, with a 20-yard minimum and a $50 delivery charge. Sign me up!

It arrived. In a big way. Gotta go. I've got some compost spreading to do.

Spring Report (early)

Spring sprung rather early this year. Well, technically, it didn't really 'spring' at all, as we didn't have much of a winter.

And this year is do or die. Year three of Tukey's three-year plan. If the lawn turns to proverbial excrement this summer, it's going to be serious soul-searching time.

I am cautiously optimistic. First, the clover has never looked better. I am fairly confident this is related to the 2011-12 non-winter. Normally the snow and ice does a number on it. It rarely comes up this strong in spring (and I can't reseed this time of year since I'm also spreading pre-emergent to discourage the crabgrass seeds from germinating.) But this year it's thick and lush, at least in some spots.

Second, I bit the bullet and had the 'builder's grade' irrigation system repaired. No offense meant if you're a builder. But our builder's sprinkler contractor was a team of Keystone Kops Knuckleheads. They didn't bother to review the property plan – simply guessing where the borders were. They installed the wrong kind of head nozzles. And they did not optimize the well pump for irrigation. Nice work, guys.

The result - desert-dry swaths throughout the property. So, this year, I've finally corrected all those blunders. Even though an organic lawn requires way less water than a chemical one - it needs some. All those bone-dry, drought-prone swaths grew mainly crabgrass and black medick, no matter how often I watered. We'll see how they do this year.

Stay tuned.