Over-seeding our Lawn

One of my musts being a homeowner is having a well kept lawn, its in my genes. My father always kept our lawn perfect, when we where kids we joked that he secretly spray painted the grass. Thanks to my Dad, I'm a little OCD when it comes to our front lawn. To say I was giddy when we replaced our old front lawn with sod almost three years ago is an understatement! Oh how I love the ease and prettiness of sod grass! I seriously love grass when its green and thick! When it came to deciding what to do with our backyard (it was a hot mess) of course I wanted sod, but since we are budget minded duo, we deiced to re-seed our entire lawn. The grass grew in, not as thick as our front lawn, but we were able to host our friends and family in our backyard for our wedding reception so we where very happy. 

Fast forward last Summer, we did our best to maintain our backyard, but weeds grew in and we where much to focused on loving our little addition to worry about pulling / fertilizing weeds. This Summer its really important to us to create a functional backyard both our our boys can enjoy playing in. We knew if we wanted to have thick green grass in our backyard we had to start early and whip the grass into shape. Hasani and I both had different ideas about how to get grass we'd love. 

Hasani: Thought we should rototilling the entire backyard and start from scratch (again)
Katrina: I thought we've been there done that, I wanted sod. 

We asked my Dad for his input on our situation, he reminded me sod can be pricey for the amount we need, and that rototilling that backyard again would be a lot of work. He said we could easy salvage most the existing yard and over seed our lawn in early Spring to get the results we want.  

I did a little more research on the Internet to make sure we were off to a good start, I found that lawncare.net had the most helpful information about the entire process. 

Here's what we did. Hasani dug up and pulled up most of the weeds on our backyard (the big funky ones, the little ones that blend in with our grass with left alone, we will deal with them when we 'weed & feed' the lawn) Next he mowed the lawn very very short, and then we raked our entire backyard really good. This process is called Thatching, removing the grass clippings and branches that are overcrowding the grass roots. Next we Aerated our entire backyard using a power Aerator we rented from HD Home Supply. The Aerator is huge and super powerful! It pulls plugs of dirt out of the ground to help loosen up the soil and making it easier to reseed a yard. 

Hasani made several passes in our yard zig zaging back and forth. When he was all done, he told me to take a spin with it. 

See all the little round plugs of dirt? That's the dirt plugs pulled out of the ground from the Aerator. In the area below & above you can see how sparse the grass has become. 

In this area of our lawn the grass looks is thicker. 

I was nervous, but it looked like fun! The machine pulled me around the yard like a rag doll. Tabari also gave it shot, it was so funny to see how fast it drug him ( Hasani stayed close by his side the entire time, so I wouldn't freak out!) After a few passes around our backyard, the dirt was loose and soft (perfect for planting grass seed) Here's how our lawn looked after, its hard to tell in this picture but the ground was now in the perfect condition to re-seed.

The next day, we used our large lawn spreader. Our neighbor actually gave us ours, before we just used a hand spreader. We spreader the grass seed all over the lawn (we used Scots) a mix that is designed for the area we live in (hot Summers) 

As I mentioned last Friday, we took a little trip to the Local Feed store and bought weed free hay. We decided one bale of hay would be perfect, since we are not covering our entire backyard with grass seed. We spread the hay over our yard and watered really good. It's important to keep the ground most while growing grass seed. as luck would have it, are got rain for a four days in a row. 

Now we are waiting patiently for our new grass to grow in with our existing grass. I really hope with have pretty grass to share with you all in a few weeks!! The weather is finally warming up in  Northern California, which means we'll have to make sure our backyard stays nice and moist for our grass :) 

Besides over-seeding our lawn we have lots of projects to tackle before June rolls around. Here's our list, and some are done (just need to 'blog about them' :)

Over-seed Lawn
Hang Chalk Board 
Plant Garden
Cut back bushes & Remove Some
Plant new bushes and flowers
Lay mulch and weed barrier
Clean old cement patio
Re-Paint Large Terra pots & add flowers
Move excising side fence up
Build a New Gate Door
Replace Garage Door Light (outside) 

Do you have any backyard or outdoor projects your working on?