Sow: sod it

my opponent for today

my opponent for today

Today was a holiday, but there was no rest. You see, today’s planting was to sow grass. I planted sod for about five hours to give the Gs a cool place to sleep during the summer months and to prevent muddy paws.

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doing battle with the pallet

It’s a lot like doing flooring. You start with a single line, preferably against a straight edge. And then you keep going for 4 hours. It’s important to stagger the seams. And it’s important to make sure the sod is tightly butted up against each other. And that you water it A LOT.

just in case you were doubting that it was a big pile of sod...measured against my car

just in case you were doubting that it was a big pile of sod…measured against my car

But the pile shrank.

much smaller

much smaller

And finally it was done! Looks a lot better than dirt. Fingers crossed that it rains all weekend as predicted (even though it will effect the Easter parades and outdoor brunches—sorry!).

new sod installed

new sod installed

Of course, the Gs were pretty excited about having more grass. They love hanging out under the live oak tree, but I don’t really love that they’re rolling in the dirt. Now we can all be happy (and less muddy).

George liked it (a lot)

George liked it (a lot)

 

splendor in the grass G style

splendor in the grass G style—they’re thrilled to have grass to lie on under the live oak

Lots of watering happened when it was all down. And there will be more watering in my near future. Unless the predicted rain comes. Fingers crossed!

If I can actually cross my fingers. Gotta say that I’m exhausted and plenty of muscles hurt. I took a shower and lifting my arms high enough to wash my dirt-covered hair was a struggle. I’m proud of myself for actually being able to type. And form sentences. It’s going to be an 8:30 bedtime night if I can make it until then.

Most of all, it was awesome to be outside most of the day. Even if I do have a boo boo:

ouch! war wound from today

ouch! war wound from today—palm blister

Today’s DIY adventure definitely made me appreciate the effort it takes to have nice grass. And how much labor is required to plant it.

 

 

Sow: spring back?

It’s 58°F at 5:30 pm.

In North Texas, this time of day, not midday, is usually the hottest part of the day. I’m just glad to have the temperatures climb back up to a place closer to where it should be. I’ve been a bit of a nervous wreck worrying about the plants.

The entire Urban Farm stayed covered all of yesterday underneath the frost cloth. Hopefully it was all warm and secure enough.

I’m hoping to see happy tomatoes, basil and peppers when I return home tonight. Bruce uncovered them at midday today since it was still only 35°F when I left for the office. Still, that’s three degrees warmer than when I woke up this morning. Brrr. It’s been toques, snowboarding jackets, and gloves weather since Sunday and it’s felt even colder because it was so warm a bit earlier this month.

I’m also hoping for warmer temperatures that stay around. On Friday, I’m going to be putting down sod in parts of the backyard where we need it. It’s mostly to keep the Gs out of the mud truthfully. Yes, we’re buying grass for the Gs. Well, and me. Despite any required labor on my part, it will be a big timesaver if for nothing else than cutting down on the dog towel laundry. Godiva and George are my worst culprits, although I have caught Guinness trying to sneak back on to the couch muddy.

Tomorrow I’d better do a little reading to remind myself how to plant grass. Don’t worry, I’ve done it before. The first time, however, was a really long time ago. When I was a little girl living in Savannah, our whole family spent a weekend installing plugs of grass in the yard of our new house. In no time at all they spread and we had a nice lawn.

With this North Texas lawn planting, water will be the key. (It seems to be a common theme down here, doesn’t it?) But if we water well, the grass will be established prior to our surface of the sun summer temperatures and will survive.

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April showers?

My fingers are crossed for plenty of April showers, not for the May flowers, but for the plump tomatoes, sweet peas, snappy beans, crunchy peppers, bountiful salads,  juicy peaches and plums, and well-established grass!

Sow: spring forward

According to my Facebook feed, it would appear that Daylight Savings Time is universally loathed in North America*. I actually like it a lot, despite accidentally oversleeping today (I blame my new super duper pharmaceutical strength allergy drugs and the fact that I haven’t slept well for about 3 weeks) and having a pile of work that has filled my conscious and subconscious thoughts for the past week or so.

Here are the top 10 reasons why I love to spring forward:

1. Goodbye to Headlamp Harvests. And headlamp watering. And headlamp yard cleaning up after the 3G Network on Garbage Night Eve. Since I get home from work after 6 pm on a good night, I’m often out mucking about in the Urban Farm when it’s dark. The solar lighting helps somewhat (thanks, Bruce!), but it’s still not as nice as being able to see what’s going on until 9 pm or so.

2. Happier plants. Longer days equal more sunlight. More sunlight equals better, faster growth so that when the temperatures turn North Texas into the surface of the sun (July through September), the spring crops should be harvested and I’ll only be stressing about keeping the fall transplants alive.

3. Better visibility for the 3G Network. Guinness, Godiva, and George prefer days with two long walks. Guinness usually insists upon them. I, on the other hand, am afraid we’ll all die if we do our walks much past dusk, despite light colors and a flashlight to show oncoming traffic where we are. A lot of our walk route does not have sidewalks (our street for example) so I fear the happy hour revelers, the soccer moms, the late for dinner parents, and the senior citizens returning from early bird dining. I’m a much happier walker when it’s light (or when no one is awake at 5:30 am).

4. Patio action. Until North Texas becomes the surface of the sun, it’s awesome to gather up friends, sit outside, and sip something refreshing. Sometimes this also involves a swimming pool if the gathering isn’t at our house. If it does, it’s better to have a longer day so the water is warmer and more people will get in. (I don’t mind what the water temperature is as long as there’s a towel waiting for me. Neither does Godiva.) If it’s at our house, there will be lots of dogs running around since our visitors know to BYOD (bring your own dogs) because the backyard minus the Urban Farm is a dog park. And “Uncle” Bruce usually is planning to smoke/deep-fry/grill something dog-friendly.

5. Flowers galore. I’ve stopped buying cut flowers even though I love them. When it gets warm here they just do not last. And I like flowering plants because they usually keep giving you more flowers if you remember to water them. But in spring about this time of year, everything that flowers is. The only parts of me that minds this are my nose, eyes, head. Damn you allergies.

6. Trees with leaves. There’s nothing uglier than a crape myrtle without leaves. It looks like a pile of bones standing upright on the grass. It looks dead and uninviting. And then the local landscapers decide to decapitate it and it looks like an awkwardly trimmed pile of bones.

poor crape myrtle

poor crape myrtle!

crape myrtle in spring at our first texas house

crape myrtle in spring at our first texas house

I’m glad to see leaves popping out on trees of all kinds, but especially crape myrtles.

7. Green grass. Although it doesn’t get all that cold here and only snows on important days like Christmas Day or when the Super Bowl’s being played in town, our grass goes dormant. It looks like straw from November until now. By the time I get back from my business trip this week, I’m hoping all the grass will be Ireland-green.

8. Rain. It’s a problem around here. We don’t get enough and when we do get some, it’s like God’s just pouring a bucket on the whole area and it just runs off. So I look forward to this time of year to fill the rain barrels, decrease the chances of drought, and make my friends with boats happy. Because you know what they say about boats: the best thing about boating is having a friend with a boat.

9. Happiness. Despite it never really staying dark, gray and gloomy around here for long, when it does, my coworkers aren’t as fun to be around. Everyone gets a bit down in the dumps. I think it’s because most people after living here for a while don’t like wearing socks. Last night at dinner one of my friends who is a native Texan explained how he feels happiest when he is wearing flip flops and shorts so even if it means being a little cold or wearing a sweatshirt when it’s windy or cold, he does it.

10. Pedicures and sandals. Open toe shoe season means that feet need to look pretty says the gal who desperately needs to head to the nearest nail salon. Even if you’re a dude. It doesn’t make you metrosexual, men friends, it just means that your feet will be presentable and clean. Ladies, even if you don’t let your feet experience a professional’s touch, lotion and polish will make your sandal wardrobe look even better. And as you dust off your sandals, be sure to be ruthless. Even if you love them, worn out shoes don’t do your body any favors.

Happy spring, y’all!

*Except for Fransi at Three-Hundred Sixty-Five. She actually used the word “Hallelujah!” in today’s post referencing Daylight Savings Time. I agree with her 100% as you can see.