The Last Word on Life at the Lake: Lawn Farming

There are two spots in my yard where I cannot grow grass. One is a bog, and the other is a big pile of rocks. I’ve tried to fill in the bog with dirt, and I’ve tried to pick up all the rocks, but so far, they remain dead zones.  

Grass growing is a new thing for me. All my adult life I’ve lived in condos or apartments where I had no yardwork or lawn to tend. I have also always lived in places north of here, like New York City, where there’s a surprisingly abundant amount of grass. Throw grass seed on the ground anytime of the year that it’s not covered in snow and it’ll turn into a thick, lush lawn in weeks. Grass even grows in sidewalk cracks where there’s no soil. So, I thought it’d be easy to grow a lawn. 

Turns out that at the lake that our combination heat, soil, and sun conspire to make life a bit harder for grass. We worked with a pro at grass growing, David Tilley over at GrassRoots Turf to get set up with a nice lawn, and he nailed it. But then when we were out of town I hired a guy to mow my lawn while we were away and he managed to chop an irrigation line in half and most of the lawn died off in the extreme heat wave we’d been so happy to miss. With David’s help the lawn bounced back, but the bog and rockpile remained stubborn. 

I set out to tackle the issue. First, I bought so many bags of soil and stacked them in the garage that it looked like I was building a bunker to defend myself in WWIII. And then I offered my kids cash in exchange for every Lowes bucket that they filled with rocks off the rock pile. They filled up precisely one-half of a bucket with dirt instead of rocks and then asked to be paid. So I ended up picking up all the rocks myself, and then I thought it’d be a good idea to rake the former rock pile, which just turned up a whole new pile of rocks. Instead of picking them up I covered the whole mess with some of the bags of soil I’d overbought, then filled in the bog too. Then I dumped on enough grass seed to choke a flock of seagulls and covered the whole thing in straw. 

But what’s this, just as I finish the sky seems to be getting a little dark? Ten minutes later sideways rain is coming down hard enough to wash all the stains off the driveway and of course blow away all my straw and grass seed. So, the next afternoon I repeated the seed and straw process and then went inside. About an hour later tornado sirens interrupted my work, and by the time the rain started I was wondering if maybe this was a sign from the universe that these two spots on my lawn are not meant to have grass. 


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