Sep 29, 2017

Driveway Sealed Twice + The Front Lawn Reseeded Again (Because Things Don’t Always Go As Planned)

Last week and over the weekend we tackled big but boring projects - the driveway and the front lawn. Both were time consuming, but not very interesting to blog about. And not very photo-worthy. But they were both necessary, time sensitive and I’m glad to have them done. Especially since I had to do the driveway twice.

The driveway was in bad shape from skipping a couple of years of sealing and bad winters, especially in the back. There was a big crack was so wide the kids could pull gravel out of it with their hands. The driveway was on our list all summer. And then the summer flew by. By the time I realized how little time was left in the warm season (it needs to be above 60 for 24 hours), it would rain every time we had an opening in our calendar.

Finally we had a weekend with 3 days of sun forecasted during an unseasonably warm spell. Plans were rescheduled in lieu of the driveway. Cleared it, cleaned it, filled in the cracks with asphalt and crack filler. I don’t really mind the sealing part, I find it very zen, like when people rake sand in those little Japanese gardens. Pour, spread repeat.

I was about ⅔ of the way done when the afternoon went from sunny to cloudy. I stopped because the clouds looked a little menacing. Checked the weather. There were some spotty showers here and there (uh oh) but nothing thaaaaaat close. I decided to close everything up and wait for the clouds to pass, mentally doing an anti-rain dance as I sat on the porch and obsessively watched the weather radar. The weather apps said no rain, no rain, no rain… until it was raining. One of those days with a totally botched forecast. A big red thunderstorm spot appeared out of nowhere over us on the radar, the heavens opened up and poured. And it didn’t stop. It rained and rained and rained. The rain pooled and puddled at the end of the driveway apron creating a lake over all my work. It wasn’t supposed to rain. NO. No. No. And it kept raining. It poured for over an hour, that little red spot didn’t budge. We went from a sunny afternoon to flash flood warnings over our town. And my dad who lives 8 minutes away? They didn’t see a single drop of rain. It rained again overnight too. I know these things happen but it was very frustrating.

So I had to do it all over again a few days later. The warm spell continued and I took an afternoon off from work when there was a zero percent chance of rain, not a cloud in the sky and several days of low humidity and sun in the forecast. Round 2 went much better and now our driveway is in much better shape.

The huge crack filled in. 

At the same time, Mike worked on our front lawn. Another season/time-sensitive project. Mike’s goals for fall were to repair the lawn and get rid of the crab grass that had taken over almost HALF the front yard. It was really bad and everything had to be pulled up and reseeded. Last spring when Mike did this the first time, he did a great job getting rid of the clover and some of the weeds, but the reseeding project didn’t go as planned with the crab grass specifically. It turns out his efforts, especially in the front yard, actually made it worse unintentionally. So he had to pull up all the offending grass in the front reseed the bare patches. Then overseed the whole lawn overall so it comes back in the spring lush and beautiful (and hopefully mostly weed-free).

After a ton of work pulled up ridiculous amounts of crabgrass, Mike put down fresh top soil, leveled everything out the best he could and reseeded, covering everything with peat and a roll of grass fabric at the bottom of the lawn slope to keep everything where it should be (because the peat would run down the neighbor’s driveway during watering and rain otherwise). Mike’s been watering it multiple times a day for a week and the grass has finally sprouted. Soon it will be full and green again and hopefully next year we can keep the weeds under control.

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