Home Improvement Lawn and Garden Odds & Ends

The Bungalow Gets Grass: part 1

The thing about the Bungalow’s yard is that it wasn’t really cared for when we came upon it.  Did it have grass?  Yes, in the front yard.  It also had apple trees in the front yard.

Who puts fruit baring trees in the front yard?

And these weren’t even pretty fruit trees, they were little sticks-of-an-apple-tree trees.  So I took them out.

What I loosely term grass was really a lot of morning glory, sticker plants, dandelions, and crab grass.  Rather than beautify, the random rose bushes could have been from a sci-fi thriller.  Was it pretty?  No. That’s why it all had to come out.

And then it was really not pretty!

We did manage to perk it up a little but not much.

The backyard was worse, it was just weeds: thistles, sticker patches (The kind that stick in your shoes and sneak into your carpet so you step on them in the dark.),  dandelions, morning glory, crab grass, and other common greens that take over here in the ghetto.  When we first moved into the Bungalow I was content to mow these areas down and keep them short and crispy.  Even if it was all weeds it at least looked green.

When Xyla joined us our priorities shifted away from the house to the landscaping.  We put up a fence, tore out the weeds, put in a lawn and a garden, and have worked to maintain the backyard as a dog sanctuary.

And while all that work was getting done, the front yard became neglected.  Not so much in the plans as the execution. Yes the sprinklers have been in, and yes we’ve planted some trees, but the rest?  I don’t mean to let the weeds take over in front. I don’t try to let the flowers wilt and die in their planters.  I try to keep the new trees watered, but I don’t spend a lot of time out front. Out front is part of the Ghetto! and as lovely as it is, I’m not always looking for my neighbors to be casing the place watching me, or the house. The weeds, of course, don’t care, in fact they fit right in.  Neighbors to the north, neighbors to the south, weeds.  We’re just trying to blend in.

But no more!  It is time to take back the front yard!

Over the past several months I’ve taken measures to kill off the front “lawn.”  And now that the July sun is in full heat the “lawn” has succumbed.

Crispy.

Dead, dead, dead. Finally!

The plan is to take out the front yard, save the trees, and redo everything.  Put in new landscaping, new flower beds, some grass, and some walkway stones.  In my head it is beautiful!

To get started, after confirming the front yard was dead and no more morning glory was sprouting to life, we rented a Tiller from Home Depot.  I got the biggest one they have because the big one’s have a motor that help pull the tiller along.

It took a little bit of time for the tiller to work it’s way into the dirt and for me to get the hang of it.  For the first half of the yard I was cursing that I didn’t go somewhere else and get a bigger machine, but by the end everything was fine.

Working together Rachael and I ended the night with the yard looking like this:

We only had one sprinkler casualty.  The funny pipe on the sprinkler was up higher than the rest of the system and the dig bar on the tiller caught and cut it right up.  Part 2 of this series will apparently be about fixing tilled up sprinklers.  Ah, well, it could have been worse.  And doesn’t this look so much better already?

–Cath

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