A dull action day, but a little digging happened. And the secret to grass seed.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I guess it's not a heavy reporting week over here in Humboldt Park.  Hm, my apologies.

The weather was absolutely perfect today which feels almost like a rarity these days.  After such a rough rough terrible winter, or what's better known as a typical-Chicago-winter-but-now-we've-gotten-soft-thanks-to-a-few-years-of-mild-winters, it's great to flip open our mismatching windows and get some nice air moving in the house.

Last summer when we were cleaning up the awful front yard, we yanked a slew of day lilies that had migrated from next door east and those are wow, yeah, doing mighty well.  It's impossible to kill those buggers anyway.  They're along the west side of our walkway. 

In about August last year we planted some little round ball evergreens which I think are arborvitae but I don't remember.  They look a little beat up.  We also plopped in a few perennials that we picked up, several of which didn't survive.  Hey, after that winter, I would have given up too.  

It likely didn't help that it was crazy hot out when we first planted this stuff, but it all made it through last fall nicely so I had high hopes.  My world's smallest last-ditch-sale $5 lilac bush behind those ball plants survived, much to Mike's chagrin.  He wants to replace it with a tree.  That's fine.  We'll just relocate the lilac.  Not to the alley or a trash can, babe, sorry.  Peonies....I'd love some peonies there.  I'm sure it will be tree though which will be very nice.

I did move some plants from the back yard to up front this spring, although I don't know what they are.   They're the little two leaf plants closest to the walkway in the photo above.  I also picked up 3 "perennial starters," as they were called, for eighty eight cents a piece at Menards a couple weeks ago and those are looking sprightly.  Looks like one is about to bloom actually.  Neat!  Once things grow more and take shape, I'm sure I'll move things around, arrange it all better.

I still hadn't planted those hostas I had picked up at Menards a bit ago for a mere fifty cents each though.  They were still doing very well in their pots but it was nigh time to get them in the ground.  

Mike's plan was to sod the whole back yard and leave a little landing strip on the garage side of the swanky new patio for those plants and more.  Or I should say, things for Hailey to trample and tear apart.  But due to a change in sod plans, as in he opted to get me a set of golf clubs yesterday instead (!!), he suggested digging out a strip in the front yard and put them along the fence.

So that's what I did.  The grass seed is coming in nicely in the front so I carefully dug out chunks and moved them to the back yard, around the edges of the patio.  

I've never had a lot of luck with transplanting chunks of grass, so we'll see if it takes.  I threw down a few handfuls of seed under the chunks hoping that will grow and fill in the gaps.  Keep your Grass Gods fingers crossed for me, would ya?

Our trick to seed, which we've never had good luck with by the way, is the Midwest Master seed at Menards along with some plastic bird netting from Home Depot.  That's it.  Nothing more.  

Toss down the seed, cover it with the netting, spike the netting into the ground, water, wait, and bingo!  Grass!  It worked so well last summer despite the crazy heat, dryness, and lateness of application, we did it again this spring.  A portion the front yard didn't survive under the two hundred feet of snow we had.  It's the only seed we've ever gotten to work, and with so many birds around, the only way to keep the seeds on the ground and not flying away in tummies.

It's not all gorgeous along the fence line for now as guess what -- I started this little project at 4:30 pm today.  I know.  You'd think I'd learn.  I need to tidy up the edge, clean out errant grass clumps, round off a few hard corners so it's not so linear, and probably wood chip it yet still.  There's also this big rusty thing sticking up in one spot that does not want to be dug out, so I need to figure out how to handle that thing.

Slowly but surely, the front of the house is getting better.  It still needs a lot of work today and in the future but it's without a doubt infinitely better than the barren but weedy and trash-filled wasteland we bought it as.  Our neighbor to the east keeps thanking us for cleaning it up and improving it, if that's any indication of how much of an eyesore it was.

It's a busy three days ahead for me, so I'll catch you next week.  Have a fantastic weekend!

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