Grass Patching

Over the summer I decided to adjust the sprinklers for our complex to see if we could save a bunch of water while keeping our lawn green, since California is 3 years into a drought. The default setting on the sprinkers is 10 minutes per sprinkler per day, which seemed like way more than was needed. Last winter I turned the sprinklers off for the rainy season, and when the rain ended I set them to 3 minutes. That didn’t work out so well, and the lawn started browning. Unfortunately, I thought I’d changed them upward but in fact I’d just imagined it, I guess, so the lawn got browner and browner until finally I changed it to 5 minutes, which seemed to do the trick. Alas, some patches of grass had just plain died, and two months later had not come back, even though the rest of the lawn was green and growing.

So I went out and bought some grass seed – actually a mix which included some green stuff to deliver the seed in, which I think also contained fertilizer – and spent some time digging up the brown patches to mix up the soil, laying down the seed mix, and watering the results. The one patch I tried it on a few weeks ago has come up quite nicely, so this weekend I did a whole bunch of other patches in front of my neighbor’s unit.

Last night Debbi and I were watching WALL•E after dinner when the doorbell rang: The neighbor had come over with a plate of delicious brownies to thank me for laying down the grass seed.

Sometimes good deeds do get rewarded!

(And we’ve hopefully saved a lot of water this summer, too. I don’t know how much water the sprinklers use, but if it’s 1 gallon/minute, then I estimate that that’s over 100 gallons/day! I bet it’s less than that, but still significant.)

2 thoughts on “Grass Patching”

  1. How has the patching worked out? I’ve thought of doing that because our lawn is very patchy, but I’m concerned that it’ll be a bit of a waste of money. Apparently we’ll have rain for the next 7 days, so if I do patch, this seems like the right time to do it.

  2. The one spot I patched 3 weeks ago is filling out nicely. The other spots won’t start growing for another week or so. If you have a lot of spots to patch, then you might want to look into another option, maybe just buying a bag of grass seed (rather than the seed/fertilizer/filler mix I bought), tilling the bare spots, and laying seed on top of it. What I did was pretty time-intensive.

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