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It’s Spring

It's Spring!

And we’re so ready to get back in the garden!

Our unique outdoor preschool/childcare/after-school care means that our nature playground is in use, by 10 – 20 children, for over 2000 hours each year. So what one would normally call our lawn, the grassy open areas, is mostly compacted mud with tiny clumps of grass dotted around like freckles.

We’ve learned to work with the mud. We celebrate it in the fall, cover it with straw in winter, and in spring? In spring we work.

This is our first full spring at Sprouts – thank you, global pandemic – so we weren’t completely sure what to expect. When we started back up in June 2020 our grass looked great! Possibly because no one had even touched it since March.

June 2020
March 2021
So this year we had our work cut out for us. Right before Easter we noticed that the worms were ready for Spring too! They gave us a little nudge so we started by sprinkling 2 lb of white clover seed.
At this point, we:
  1. Raked in the seed.
  2. Watered!
  3. Waited.

Hoping for the best, we waited and watched and waited for those little clover to pop.  

And they didn’t.

On to step 4: Ask for help.

Our resident horticulturist (Caity’s husband) had some great advice for further lawn care: aerating.

Turns out, all those hours outside make for what we have nicknamed ‘a hostile growing environment’.

Probably something we should’ve been expecting.

5. Aerate the lawn (pull cores of dirt out) – we rented an aerator.  Ellen and her husband managed to do the whole lawn in just two hours! 

5. Rake in the cores. Those little cores you just yanked need to be de-clumped, by hand, with a rake. 

6. Re-seed.  This time we used a sun/shade mix of actual grass. 

7. Water and water and water and water…

8. Water again.

Success!

Well, some success anyway.  We just have to keep these little guys alive to become the blanket of clover we’re envisioning. Or at least have some ground cover of any kind. 

We will keep you posted. 

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