Thursday, September 23, 2010

...and you've got a margarita.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend casually dropped that it was time to seed the lawn and add lime.

To which I almost replied, "Add tequila and Cointreau, and you've got a margarita."

I managed to bite my tongue in time. Because, you know, ditzy Texan party mom is not an image I have to try to cultivate. Sometimes it comes just a little too naturally.

Later, a very nice man at Needham Garden Center set me straight on the lime business. It has nothing to do with citrus at all. New England soils are acidic and are made even more so by precipitation, decomposing leaves, grasses, etc. Lawn grasses lose their appetite in acidic soils, turning puny and starved and thin. Very much like the ragtag survivors in my lawn. So to add alkalinity to the soil and restore the pH to something more neutral, lime is added.

Ironic, isn't it? In Austin, limestone was everywhere. It lay underground under a thin scraping of soil. It was heavily used as a native building material. The Austin soil was so alkaline that one couldn't grow azaleas without peat moss-swathed contortions. Now, I've moved to a place where the soil is so acidic, I have to add lime every year or so. Just so the grass can grow.

Austin and Boston. As different as chalk and cheese. I've literally moved from chalk to cheese.

Why all the lawn angst? I've just realized that our reel mower no longer cuts well. It's no fault of the mower. It's because we no longer have grass. We have sedge...and violets...and some densely matted, low groundcover with tiny flowers. I'm no suburban green grass fanatic, but I don't think the haunted, abandoned house look carries over past Halloween.

So this is my task before leaves fall. (And they're already turning so I'd better hurry). Seed and fertilize my blighted lawn. Add lime in two weeks.

(P.S. After all this lawn work, I may need a margarita. Here's my recipe. It's yummy.)

1 comment:

  1. We have acidic soil here in Florida, too. I think it is from all the decomposing pine. How much land do you have? We have an acre and I think we would go out of business buying lime to add to the soil. Plus, my husband just might leave me if I asked him to undertake that task. Hope your liming goes well! Keep us posted with before and after pics ;)


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