Wednesday, October 24, 2018

A Real Pain In The Heel

Around here the best time to try to grow a new yard is in the fall. The renovation season runs from late August to mid-October, but early September is the ideal time. The soil is still warm, the temperatures have cooled off, and the precipitation picks up. Usually. This year we had the yard aerated and overseeded the first week of September . That was right before weeks of record setting high temperatures and below average precipitation. We watered the seed multiple times a day, but the only places it sprouted were the parts of the yard that don't get much sun (and where, based on past experience, it will eventually die off).

Not only did the seed not germinate, but some more of our established grass also died. St Louis is a hard place to have a nice lawn. It's too cold in the winter for warm-season grasses, and too hot in the summer weather for cold-season varieties.  Hubby Tony and I aren't lawn perfectionists, but big bare brown patches wasn't really the look we were going for. I figured we'd have to live with the damage and try again next year.

Last week I saw our neighbor having seed put down. I contacted our company to see if there was anything they could do for us. They told me it takes 6-8 weeks for grass to grow strong enough roots to survive the winter (and there's not enough growing time left for that) but they came out two days later and spread a new layer of seed on the yard anyway.

Since then we've made sure the seed stays damp by sprinkling the lawn every day. That involves running the sprinkler for 10-15 minutes in each section. Tony did it over the weekend, and I've been in charge of the project for the past few days. I start the water, set the timer on my cell phone, and go back into the house. I didn't want to track dirt in on each trip, and the easiest way to solve the problem was to take my house shoes off and go barefoot outside. When I came in I could slide my flip flops back on quickly.

That worked well until today. Even though the top layer of the yard was wet, the clay soil was still hard, and the impact was making my heel right twinge. Several years ago I had some minor plantar fasciitis in my right foot and have no desire to revisit the problem. Before the pain got worse I grabbed a golf ball and performed the golf ball trick my chiropractor taught me, rolling the ball from the base of my toes all the way down to my heel, applying as much pressure as I could stand.

I'm happy to announce that the golf ball trick did indeed help. I'll repeat the procedure again before I go to bed tonight and hope that takes care of the remaining issues. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so I'll let Mother Nature be in charge of watering.

Five years ago today: Disappearing Act


  1. I live in a suburb of St. Louis, too. What a weird extended hot summer it was: and where did Fall go? We (and some of our neighbors) have started having some sort of strange, super fibrous strong giant spreading grass growing in our yards. I've never seen this grass/weed before, but it is hideous. A few years back, we would have hit it with a few sprays of RoundUp and the ugly stuff would be gone, but now that we know better, that wasn't a choice.

    My husband pulled some of it and it continued to spread, then he mowed it real close to the ground and that seemed to strengthen what came back. Our neighbor dug it out of his yard with a shovel, but I didn't want my husband to do that because it would have made uneven ground for me to walk on with my new knee replacement. I then had an idea to pour bleach on the monster grass. It worked. The ugly stuff is done for.

    I think it came from our other infected neighbors yard from when the gas company dug the neighbor's yard up and refilled and reseeded using some kind of straw or hay over the area. I think that monster grass seed came from that.

    I hope your new grass seed sprouts and grows beautifully. I'm glad the golf ball trick worked for your heel pain.

    1. Susie, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Good luck on your lawn issues. It's certainly not easy to grow lush grass around here.

  2. I have new weeds to tackle next spring, sigh

  3. I remember trying to help my sister get planting started on her lawn in Town and Country. I had never seen clay soil like that. Every year I would come out and try to replace what had died.

    1. I didn't realize you had a local connection!

      We've lived in our house 25 years. After years of letting the grass clippings fall and decompose, and several applications of compost, the condition of the soil is finally starting to improve.

  4. I tried to replant the cat yard grass in September, tried to protect it from the cats long enough. Usually there's enough rain to keep them in the house and out of the cat yard in September, and the grass will grow enough to take hold and the rain now and then will keep the cats off it. Not this year. We had some gray and drizzle, then too much dry and heat. I watered it anyhow, but it was all a waste. And grass seed is SOOO expensive, even right here in the county where I live that touts itself the grass seed capital of the world. Seems like living her putting up with the extreme pollen then the extreme dust when they plow up to plant again, when the air is too thick with dirt to breath, we'd get it half price or something. Nope.