When we moved into our house last year, the builders put sod in the front yard and pretty much left us on our own for the side and back yards. This led to a tremendous crabgrass infestation in the back yard, and when it died in October, it looked like we had a wheat field in the back yard. That’s still there… I’m taking some action this year, trying to kill all of that crabgrass with Plant Holocaust Fluid. It’s starting to work, killing the current crabgrass slowly. Sometimes I like to listen for the tiny screams that dying crabgrass makes.
In the front yard, the major problem has been a lack of hydration. I didn’t really do anything with the grass last year, so although it’s a hardy, summer stock, it’s been dormant for a while. Because bermuda really comes into its own in June, I figured I would make sure to get a watering system in place before then and try to make up for the damage I did last year.
Our long-term plan involves underground irrigation, but that’s a rather expensive endeavor. Instead, I bought four 360-degree sprinklers, four garden hoses, and a four-port, automated lawn watering system. The hoses line up around our garden bed, so they don’t actually go out into the lawn, and I have the sprinklers set up to cover the entire front lawn: two short-range sprinklers on the ends, a medium-range one, and a long-range one. I also bought a hose hanger to wrap up the extra lengths of hose and make it look nicer.
Right now, I’m going to water once a day, but as the lawn starts growing and the summer rains hit, I should be able to ease up to twice a week or thereabout.
There are still a lot of things I need to do with the lawn. In rough order:
- Automate the other part of my front lawn. This was mostly an experiment to make sure that I could set up an automated system. The other part should be a lot simpler, as I don’t have nearly as much lawn to water on that side.
- Install underground irrigation and a rain collection system. I have great potential for collecting rain water and runoff, as my house is near the bottom of a hill, so heavy rains tend to form a stream and leave standing water behind. I should be able to use that to cut down on my watering bill.
- Till, rake, and put sod along the side yards. This is a project I was thinking of doing this year, but given that I’m holding off on the underground irrigation system, I think it might make sense to wait here as well, as they would tear up a good bit of my lawn installing the pipes.
- Remove the crabgrass from the back yard. Right now, I just want to kill the stuff and flatten it out so that it looks more like straw or hay from the street than 2′ tall crabgrass. From there, I’ll slowly work my way to colonizing the back yard.
It’s the first step in a long process, but a good one.