Watching the grass grow

I do it. I admit it. It's just as boring as the saying implies, but since I'm doing it intentionally, it's not that bad—subjectively, in my own head, at least.

In the backyard there is an area in the southwest corner that never really has any grass when we moved in. It was shaded by the pine tree to the north, the hackberry and mulberry trees to the south, and a bunch of honeysuckle on the west boundary of our backyard. Also it's on a slope, so it was eroding every so slightly each time it rained.

Listen: I'm trying to justify why I wrote a post about grass.

Last fall we got rid of the mulberry tree, which wasn't healthy, and also all the honeysuckle that was arguably on our property, and all the low branches on the pine tree. Suddenly there was sun in the dark corner of the yard—but also a lot of exposed dirt.

This year I made the dirt worse by rolling the wheelbarrow repeatedly through the area while moving wall materials to the backyard. But once that was done, and when any residual trench-digging dirt (clay) piles were moved out of the way, it was time to reclaim the dirt slope.

(Please clap.)

So that's been one of my side projects this year: tossing grass seed on the dirt, turning on the sprinkler, seeing where the grass grows (some areas are still susceptible to fast moving water when it rains, and some of the dirt is exposed packed clay), then adjusting my approach (blocking the erosive flows with bricks until the grass grows, scratching or breaking the clay before throwing more grass seed). Then watch. Then adjust. Watch. Adjust. Over and over until it's right, whatever that means.

Mostly I just want something to stop the erosion, and something to hold some water in and shade it from evaporating away. Grass works for that—we are, after all, living in a suburb, where grass is the national animal. It also looks nice—soft and green. But it seems to work best if you keep an eye on it—not just to watch it, which I do 1000 times a day, keeping up with patches of new grass which have recently joined the party, the but to keep that watch-adjust feedback loop working.

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