Category Archives: house

Re-doing the lawn.

Ever since I bought my new house, the grass on the front right side as you face the house offended me. The lawn was a weed infested eco-system of bizarre and fascinating plants and very little grass.

The lawn had to be replaced.

My original thought was to replace the lawn with a sequioa tree. However, it turns out that sequioa’s look great, are a symbol of Northern California, and can fall very easily in a quake, will tear up everything in their roots path and in general are a nuissance.

Replacing a lawn is not a simple proposition. First you have to kill the original lawn. Roundup and a bright sunny morning took care of the eco-system. I had to do it twice because I missed a bunch of spots. Two weeks later I had a dead patch of yellow grass.

On the appointed day May 14th, my friend Greg Barr showed up with a roto-tiller, a variety of other gardening tools and a large amount of patience. We started at 10 AM and were confident that in a few short hours we would be done.

Boy were we mistaken.

First we couldn’t use the roto-tiller effectively because we had no idea where the pipes that connected the automatic watering system were. Then when we figured out where the pipes were, I hadn’t figured out how to use the tiller and as a result I kept going over the same patch of dirt over and over again. The sun was a killer as well. It beat down on us relentlessly reducing our effectiveness by about 80%.

We ended up using a roto-tiller, a shovel, a mechanical shovel (sort of like a jackhammer), a pick-axe, a rake and a grass spreader.

6 hours of exhausting work we were done. We had ripped out the old, and planted the new.

After six hours of excruciating hard labour in a hot sun, Greg and I reached for the beer and ate the delightful meal my wife had prepared.

post-script This morning I woke up in excruciating pain. Once I have pictures of the grass on the lawn I’ll share them with folks.