A very brief post today as I’m exhausted and need to hit the hay.  Or perhaps I should say, hit the oats?  Today I raked up all the hay and straw I had used to mulch the dog yard and keep the mud down and the house as relatively clean as possible.  The mulching worked fairly well, but now that the snow is gone, the sun is shining and things are starting to bud, I needed to get the straw up so that the grass can start to come back.

What was underneath was mud.  This shouldn’t be surprising, as mulching is intentionally used to kill weeds.  So naturally covering the yard with straw killed much of what little grass remained after the dogs had turned it into mud soup last fall.  I expect some of it will come back, but to speed things along I decided to reseed it.

Before raking up the straw, I stopped by the local feed store to see what best to plant.  They had various grass seed formulas, but I wanted something that would be tough and stay in place despite having four dogs running around on it.  My thought was that perhaps a pasture mix would do the trick.  They agreed, and sold me a couple of pounds.  My roommate, who is a farmer, suggested that I also plant a nurse crop, so I also bought a couple of pounds of oats to seed along with the pasture mix.  A nurse crop is a crop that germinates quickly and helps the crop you really want take root.  The oats will protect the ground and grass as it gets going.  I’m very curious to see what comes up in a few weeks!

The trick now, of course, will be to keep the dogs off the grass until it has established itself.  Oh joy!  This will mean letting them out the back door onto the unfenced part of the property every time they need to pee.  This is fine, but that door faces out onto the road and they will see every person and dog walking past.  Fortunately we have a big deck off that doorway, which is completely fenced in and has a gate.  So I can step out, look around, and if the coast is clear, let the dogs out.  This will mean being dressed enough to be seen by my neighbours, so no more crawling out of bed and letting the dogs out before hopping into the shower.  It’s going to be a long few weeks.  I hope those oats grow quickly!

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