Sowing Seeds in January


I am a person that has a tendency to do things on my own schedule.  I enjoy testing tried and true methods as well as limits in general.  So on Saturday morning I woke-up with this grand plan – I’m going to plant grass in my yard in January!  Yes, I know it’s the middle of winter.  I know it’s not even Groundhog Day yet!  I made a quick check of the weather and the projected forecast for the upcoming week and month and said to myself that it might be worth a try.  January temps are supposed to be above normal, and rainfall projections are forecasted to be higher than normal too.  This only gave me more confidence that my nonconformist plan was going to work.

After making a quick run to the local home improvement store and the nursery to buy some hay, I was on my way.  I enlisted the help of my oldest daughter, Lydia, who was trying to avoid cleaning her room and off we went.  We prepared the ground, put down some lime pellets, fescue seed, fertilizer, covered it all with hay, and finally watered everything over about a 4 hour period.  Most horticulturalists or master gardeners would not recommend my method for trying to achieve the perfect lawn or any lawn at all for that matter.  Most would say fall or early spring is the best time to sow grass seed.  However, I am not a horticulturalist nor do I consider myself an expert in this field.  I am a man that owns a home with a horrible looking yard.  I figured it can’t get much worse.

As Lydia and I worked on this chore, I initially suspected that she would only help for a short period of time because we were doing real work.  She came out in her overalls that she got for Christmas – prime seed sowing gear.  A 9 year old in overalls is not a common sight nowadays, but Lydia is a bit of an individual/nonconformist like her dad.  She worked really hard.  She raked the ground and got rid of the rocks in the soil.  I taught her the fine art of sowing grass seed by hand.  Finally, she helped me cover the ground with hay.  She hung in there for the entire 4 hours.  We talked about lots of things – school, friends, family, and the importance of hard work.  She made me really proud, and she even ended up cleaning her room later that day, which made her mother happy.

I’m not real sure if my attempt to get grass to grow in my yard will work, but I thought it was worth a shot.  Fescue tends to thrive in cooler weather.  My initial motivation for working in the yard was to start working on one of my goals for 2013, which is to improve the appearance and overall condition of our home.  In the end, I got a much bigger benefit from my yard work – some time to bond with my oldest daughter.  It gave me a chance to learn more about her thoughts and ideas as she starts to get older, and it gave me a chance to share some lessons I learned when I was her age.

For all of her efforts, she earned $20, which she quickly deposited in her piggy bank to save to buy something later – maybe some more overalls.  You never know – she might just start a new trend.  My scraggily-looking Civil War beard look has lasted much longer than I ever thought it would.  I guess I can thank the guys on Duck Dynasty for that.


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