Thursday, September 1, 2011

Grass Update

My new strategy is to plant grass seeds every 2 weeks, keep the soil surface moist with sprinkler, and add fertilizer every 4 weeks.  I started in mid-July, and so far had seeded 3 times, fertilized twice.  The grass is growing deep green, but coverage is still not 100%.  Coverage increases after each planting, but it's not easy to get 100% coverage.  I spent effort pulling weeds out, especially the crab grass.  I also made a home-made rain gauge using a shallow bucket with inch markings to keep track of rain fall.  It is quite useful, because sometimes the rain would seem heavy, but accumulation is minimal, and sometimes it doesn't look wet, but had accumulated more than 1 inch.

repeated planting helps to increase coverage and keeping the ground surface moist improves the grass's survivability.  I think this strategy is working out better than previous strategy which is to plant a lot of seeds at once.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dead Grass

I planted lawn grass last fall and this spring, and recently there was a 2 week period with unusually hot and dry weather, so about 40% of the last year's grass died, and about 90% of this spring's grass died.  I did a soil test yesterday, and found out that PH is around 7, which is good.  Nitrogen and Potassium are both very low, and Phosphorus is medium.  This tells me that the grass grows very slowly because there is not much nitrogen.  I suspect the grass died because it was not very mature, and the roots were not very deep yet, so it could not withstand the extended dry weather.  I went out and bought fertilizer and top soil.  The fertilizer is the local Country Estate brand by Hewitt's, and the one I am using is the winterizer product with 14-18-14 of NPK.  I first rake the ground to remove the dead grass, then put down 6 bags of top soil on this roughly 100 sq. ft. area, rake it even, apply the fertilizer, apply the grass seeds, rake and mix the soil and seeds, then water until it is very wet.

The recommendation I found online is to make sure the grass get 1 inch of water a week.  Putting down straw will help, but I didn't buy any this time.  The seeding instruction from Hewitt's recommends fertilize the new grass with the high phosphorus fertilizer after 1 month and after 2 months, until the grass is mature and strong.  I am looking forward to seeing the effect of the fertilizer, because this is the first time I am using fertilizer on lawn grass, so I should be able to observe the difference between this planting and last few times which was without fertilizer but with compost.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Road Runner Speed Test

Recently we switched from Road Runner Standard to Lite to save money. I just ran Internet speed test from The results was 0.56 Mbps download and 0.12 Mbps upload. It is mostly inline with the advertised 768 kbps download and 128 kbps upload. Although this is much slower than Standard which is 10 Mbps/1 Mbps, we can save $300 a year if we can live with the slower speed.