Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Lo! Th'Forsythia Bloom, Forsooth!

Yes, I noticed a good stand of them outside a fast food place on the way to choir practice last night.

Meaning today I had to get the corn gluten pre-emergent onto the front and back lawns.

First, though, I had to figure out how to use the drop spreader. Which I bought, what? nearly four years ago? And never used because I've been having the Scott's people take care of my lawn the last three years?

In fact, I was having the Scott's people do my lawn because the idea of learning to use the drop-spreader made my eyes glaze over. Well, this year, I'm taking care of my grass myself, organically as I can, so the spreader beast had to be slain.

OK, this thing needs calibration . . . "Squeeze the trigger against the handle. . . . The front edge of the shutoff bar should be aligned with the calibration line engraved on the bottom of the hopper. . . . "

Good grief! How can I hold onto the trigger and get around to where I can see some teeny-tiny calibration line? I don't have arms like an ape!

Oh. Duh. I do have a brain like a human, though. Which I actually remember to use from time to time. Take one stray piece twist-tie, bind trigger to handle, lay spreader down, put on strong reading glasses and locate calibration line!

Yep, needed calibration. . . . Got it.

But I still needed to check the spread rate. Used a step-by-step procedure off a website called Extremely Green. Did a five by five square on my 8x10 tarp, gathered up in a bucket the corn gluten put down, weighed it on my kitchen scale, and calculated the spreader setting.

Should've been right, but I'm not sure. I couldn't see much if any material dropping down into the grass of my front lawn, and I had to get a neighbor kid to come over and check to see if she could see anything. She says she could. But both lawns didn't use anything like what I expected them to. At that rate, that 50 pound bag should last the next five years!

Did I apply it too lightly because the micrometer on the spreader is off?

Possible, but not probable.

Or was my kitchen scale inaccurate?

More than likely. It's played fast and loose with the pounds and ounces before.

Or did I simply overestimate the square footage of grass I have and actually have the preemergent down just right?

Also possible. When the Scott's people came, I could hardly see what they put down, either, and it seemed to be effective.

Well, we'll see. And if I get crabgrass, nutgrass, and volunteer rose of Sharon seedlings anyway, it may have nothing to do with the amount of corn gluten I spread this afternoon. I was consulting a gardening book afterwards to see if I needed to water the stuff in, and it said you're supposed to put down your preemergent before the forsythia are in full bloom!

Lord have mercy on fools and amateur gardeners!


Sandy said...

You know, I could never see that stuff after we put it down either.

Kate H. said...

And I take it it worked for you?

Sandy said...

Yep. It did while my husband put it down.... he didn't put it down last year or yet this year and I see crabby grass!

Sandy said...

Ah, yes, Irony. We get a lot of that here in Michigan. LOL