04 April 2017

scarce riches (and thoughts on grass)

I went to turn my compost pile the other day, preparing the garden. What I got from the bottom of it was lovely dark crumbly stuff and had lots of worms- perhaps more than usual thriving because the winter was so mild? But there was not much of it. Usually the finished compost at bottom of my pile is a good foot thick- or more. This was only a few inches, not even above my ankles. I emptied the metal can composter from under the deck and total between the two it was just one wheelbarrow load- all applied to my vegetable/herb beds. The yard plants will have to make do with leaf mulch this year- unless I get a better lot of compost from turning it again later in the spring. Most of them are at that point anyway- I tend to only pamper yard plants with compost the first season they're in the ground.

Wondering why it was such little yield, though. Did noticed when I turned it there was a lot more leaf debris than anything else- I think it was low on "green" material. My backyard lawn looked poorly last year- far less grass to cut- it used to be a separate heap beside the compost pile that I would use at intervals. Last year I didn't have that excess- most of it went straight onto the garden as mulch or used in the bin right away. Not sure if this is due to the heat we've had (I won't water the lawn unless I'm starting seed- did that in the front in the fall- but I do encourage the kids to run through the sprinkler when it's hot, serves two purposes) or the japanese beetles- I saw lots of them last year and killed as many as I could but probably didn't make any impact. Don't want to use pesticide on the lawn but I might have to. Tried spreading compost and later ashes (for lime) on the lawn. Lots of moss, which thrives at a different pH than grass- this spring the moss appears to be dying and some patches of grass look very healthy so I think that did help, I just didn't do enough of it.  But other areas of grass just tear up easily- another sign of the beetle plague.

I really don't want to pay a company to do stuff to my lawn, I'd rather do it myself but haven't learned all of what it takes yet. I don't care enough about lawn to spend a ton of effort and money to make it look perfect without a single weed- but at the same time I don't want it to look terrible and spread disease or weed into others' yards. Trying for a happy medium. I guess this admission here is a start, as I don't usually talk about the lawn.

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