Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Yard We Didn't Know We Had

The Man and I bought a house on a small lot.  It isn't microscopic, but it isn't exactly what anyone would call acreage at about 3,500 square feet.  If you consider how much space is taken by the house and garage, we really only have to manage about 1,000 square feet of actual yard.  Less if you take out sidewalk, the unfinished backyard, and the section between our house and the neighbor's that we don't even look at very often.

Seeing that this is our first home and neither of us have much experience with yard work--admittedly almost zero on my part, a small yard is a good thing.  While gardens and outbuildings and space would be fantastic, we'll work up to that level eventually.  Right now, grass and a few shrubs are plenty.

We moved into our house in late summer last year, so we didn't have much of a chance to get going on the yard before the rain came.  We mowed and trimmed and edged, but that's about it.  Throughout the whole winter, we ignored the yard.  Weeds grew and spread.  The grass went dormant and died in a few areas.  Mushrooms sprang up in the front yard.  Moss started advancing and overtook significant areas.  Crane flies deposited eggs that have turned into leatherjackets all over in our yard.  It was a huge mess.

About a month ago, Mom came over with the intent to clean things up a bit, but she broke her arm in the process.  And then it rained one weekend, we were busy another weekend, and it just didn't work out the next weekend.  Between the have-to's, the don't-want-to's, and the we're-busy's, we didn't get to the yard until this weekend when my father came over to finish the job that Mom started.

With Dad's help, The Man and I were motivated to get the job done in one day.  Dad and I pulled weeds for a few hours while The Man mowed and edged all of our grass.  I purchased a dozen bags of bark mulch, and we worked that into the flowerbeds.  We filled our yard debris bin with clippings, and we've made yet another trip to the home improvement store for additional supplies.  Lime, more seed, and both herbicides (natural!) and pesticides (not so natural... but we have to kill the leatherjackets before they eat our whole yard) are headed into our yard soon.  In one day, we went from having the crappiest yard on the block to having the least-crappiest yard in our area.  That's not to say our yard looks amazing yet--thought it will.  It just isn't crappy anymore. :)

We're learning that a yard, no matter how small, still requires a certain amount of work to maintain.  We learned that we actually like some of the work, and we're learning that we're up to the task.  And we're also very thankful that our yard is as small as it is.  Now that we have things looking nice, we can turn our attention to the mud pit that is our backyard.  We're going to need more than a weekend...

1 comment:

Linda G said...

maybe one day while you are at the home improvement store the Yard Crasher guy will find you and come over and totally makeover your back yard. wouldn't that be fantastic? i always dreamed something like that would happen but so far no such luck!!