Frost seeding the lawn, a surprise under the leaves

Written by Doug Oster on .


I couldn't help but smile as this wonderful, fresh green grass was revealed after removing a dense layer of oak leaves.

I couldn't believe my eyes while blowing leaves off a formally barren flat area I'm trying to turn into lawn. A month ago I threw down some two year-old Jonathon Green Black Beauty grass seed. I didn't prepare the soil, I just scattered the seed in the rain and then kind of kicked it into the soil the next couple days hoping some would take.

I got the idea when some of the seed had spilled near the garage and deep green blades were coming up in all the cracks right outside the garage door. That let me know the old seed was viable, I watched the weather waiting for rain to sow the seeds. Grass seed planted now might sprout in a few weeks or could wait until spring when temperatures rise.

The planets aligned and soft rain began to fall in the late afternoon that day, the forecast promised slow rain for the rest of the night.

Then my washer broke. It's about as old as the bag of seed so after a pillow exploded inside I used YouTube to figure out how to fix it. My wife bitterly complained about the quality of the washer, the strength of pillows in general, how the old washer could wash pillows and a litany of other things that are best not repeated.

My son was visiting with laundry in tow waiting patiently for me to fix the problem. So there I was lying on my side on the basement floor, glasses falling off my face as I tried to remove a pump cover that should not be that hard to take off. As my window of opportunity was closing on my seed sowing, the inevitable overwhelming crush of "homerepairmania" set in. It's a condition contracted when things don't go well while attempting even the simplest of jobs. Since I don't know which end of a hammer to hold, the combination of zero expertise with tools and an Irish temper often causes a blind but harmless rage which leads to speaking in tongues.

While marching up and down the stairs fetching different tools, watching the video over and over again, I told anyone in the house that might listen that the grass seed needed to be spread outside (in the dark at this point).

Now, I knew in my heart that no one in the house would have any idea how to sow grass seed, but when I heard my son say "yeah, that's all I want to do, stand in the rain and throw around some grass seed," I went to Defcon five. My face turned deep red as I laid there trying to find the right metric socket for the cover removal all the while muttering a litany of obscenities under my breath questioning the loyalty of a family that couldn't or wouldn't plant my grass.

That's the kind of crazy stuff that emerges when these little, insignificant problems arise. And part of being a family is knowing that in 15 minutes everything will be OK. The only one who doesn't know of course, is the person in crisis.

After several assemblies and disassemblies the pump didn't work, so while the cover was off, and as I went back upstairs for the 50th time to watch the helpful video, my wife took a coat hanger and pulled some of the exploded pillow from the pump and the washer was fixed.

It was a wonderful feeling to be out in the cool rain that night with floodlights guiding the way and tiny white seeds being tossed about to cover the 5000 square foot area. With my blood pressure back to normal, I fantasized about green, green and more green.

Yesterday while  removing  the leaves revealed the beauty of the grass.

Standing there with my leaf blower in hand I just laughed as I remembered the events that lead to my new lawn.




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