Greetings from the Great Port Credit Swamp, otherwise known as my backyard. We have a very large backyard - huge by new-home standards - and through most of this winter, it was either a pond, a swamp or a series of giant mud puddles. A disappointment, for sure, as it was usually too wet for Cody to play in - and very ugly.
Every time it rains even a little, large puddles form, because there's clearly no place else for the water to go. Whatever's not under water is squishy.
In addition, the front half of the backyard - the area closest to the house - looks like a miniature lunar landscape, a series of tiny hills and valleys. And mostly dirt.
We spoke to our landlord, and to a Friendly Lawn Care Guy. The problems seem to be caused by a combination of: the previous tenant never picking up the leaves in autumn, so the grass died; which in turn caused soil to erode during this winter's torrential rains; which in turn drew more animals to our backyard in search of yummy grubs; and conditions like low-lying land relative to the neighbours' yards and very little sun, thanks to lovely old shade trees. It's the perfect storm of ugly yard.
In fact, when I met with Friendly Lawn Care Guy, I discovered that some of the green haze that I thought was grass is in fact moss. Our backyard is covered in moss. Yeesh.
It's definitely time to start working on this mess, but we're about to go on vacation. And shortly after we get back, we're having a party, and I'd rather everyone not stand in a big square of dirt. So we've hired FLCG to do some work.
Next weekend his crew will do a thorough "spring clean-up," then while we're gone, they'll put down soil and over-seed the worst section of yard. When I told our landlord, he offered to split the cost of the seeding.
I got a good feeling about FLCG. He wasn't pushy, wasn't trying to sell me on anything. He told us what we could do ourselves, and he even squeezed us in early so we might have some grass growing by party time.
About the lunar landscape, he mentioned we could rent a lawn roller (Hi Marnie!) from Home Depot, but in the time it would take to get, use it and return it, we could save ourselves time and money by putting on boots and stamping down the soil ourselves. So yesterday we marched around the backyard for a while. An interesting way to spend an afternoon. More purposeful stepping today.