I’ve always been a guy who has liked a neat and tidy lawn. I’m not one of those people who is out with scissors cutting individual blades of grass, or one that plucks out every single weed by hand, or cuts nice patterns week in and week out, but I like the look of a nice lawn. To that end, we’ve had a lawn service for the better part of the last 10 years, and quite frankly, you can see the difference it makes, compared to, say, my neighbour’s lawn.
Last summer, said neighbour’s lawn, developed a pretty severe case of chinch bug. If you’ve had these nasty things, you know they get in and eat the roots of the grass, and that’s it for the grass. They’re a hungry lot and they move quickly. Some of these critters decided to leave my neighbour’s lawn for a staycation in ours. I could see a couple of patches of lawn disappear before my eyes. I called the lawn company and they came and tested to confirm I had enough chinch bugs per square ‘something or other’ that allowed them to get a city license to spray. But the damage had been done. A patch job was staring me in the face. It would have to wait until spring.
I did a gardening segment with Mark Cullen on Canada AM for 15 years, from 2001 to 2016. At about 40 segments per year, that’s 600 different times Mark and I discussed all things lawn and garden. You’d think I’d have one of the greenest thumbs in the country through osmosis alone. We must have done a segment on repairing your lawn at least 20 times. Yet, when it came time to act, I had nothing. Absolutely nothing.
So, I headed to Youtube, and there was Mark doing a video on how to repair your lawn. Perfect. It was just like the good old days, but without me. I watched, absorbed and sprang into action. First, I went out and purchased some topsoil. I already had seed from a couple of years ago, when I had planned to fix some bare spots in the back. ‘Planned’ being the key word here, so the package had yet to be opened. I felt inspired though because right on the package of grass seed were the words EZ Seed. EZ Seed. Easy.
So I spread out the topsoil generously as Mark instructed. Threw on some seed, lots of it, and raked it in, as Mark instructed. Then I stamped the dirt down by putting weight on it with my shoes, as Mark instructed. And I topped it off by watering the heck out of it. He said to give it time, and the result would be I would have a lovely repaired lawn in no time. Well.
It’s been 20 days.
Not a single blade of grass.