Fall Checklist: Overseeding the Front Curb Strip!

This blog mini-series is in partnership with Lowe’s! Thank you for supporting my sponsors!

For many years, like probably most of my years, I’ve held onto this idea about what autumn would look like when I was all grown up. I know it, you know it—it’s the best season. Crunchy leaves. That crisp fall air. Warm drinks. Plaids. Brown liquors. Candles. Gourds. Sweaters. More clichés. Other clichés. Different clichés! Fall is the king of clichés, as far as seasons go. Pumpkin Spice Lattes (or PSL, if you really want to be a nightmare) are among the worst of the clichés, which is why I will not discuss them here.

I still think this way, as it happens. I turned 29 a couple of weeks ago but I still picture grown-up me as a totally different person with, like, nice clothes and an organized day planner. A person for whom home maintenance tasks are undertaken promptly and efficiently, who might start the day merrily clearing leaves from gutters and end it merrily setting potted mums and an assortment of gourds on my porch, because that’s just what this merry person does to usher in the season on October 1st. The weekend before, this guy probably went around the house and inspected for any areas of peeling paint and quickly addressed them, and the weekend after, he’ll flip on the heat with complete and total confidence that it’ll work because the whole system has just been recently serviced—well in advance of when it was needed, because he thinks ahead. He has it all figured out.

Where this concept and reality clash is…well, basically all of it. Grown-up me—the real one with the garbage wardrobe who continually tries and fails to really get into a groove with the Calendar app on my phone—has not exactly lived up to this specific expectation. It’s not because he doesn’t try. He tries very hard. But he takes on these really big projects, and either doesn’t have or doesn’t create the time for things like the mums and the gourds and the boiler-servicing-while-it’s-still-80-degrees-outside. Instead he’s usually up on a ladder, well into November, really putting the temperature requirements for most paint brands to the test, because what he thought would take one month has taken four. By most people’s standards, fall has decidedly given way to winter at this point, but his autumn to-do list still has so many unchecked items that he can’t admit what is plainly clear—most of this stuff won’t happen. The leaves and spent perennials will rot under the impending snow. The weed content of the grass will increase. Nothing will be planted in the ground, and that one radiator will, once again, refuse to heat. Better luck next year, ya little mess of a man.

Back in the spring, I made a Very Big Boy Decision: not taking on another exterior wall of the house to restore this year. I had the actual foresight to know I couldn’t finish the sides of the house I’ve already started over the past few years plus a whole additional side, while also starting and finishing two big freelance jobs, while also finally getting the cottage ready for very long-overdue finishing work. As such, I’ve still been a busy bee, but a bee who isn’t quite so thoroughly overwhelmed. Wanting to take advantage of this, I promptly overwhelmed myself by creating a Big Fall To-Do List, and my pals at Lowe’s stepped in to help me work through it! I feel like I’ve entered a new stage of adulting. Getting these fall house/yard maintenance tasks done has felt SO GOOD I CAN’T EVEN STAND IT and—let’s be honest—long overdue considering I’ve never done most of them and this is going to be winter number SIX in this house.

So! Over the coming days and weeks I’ll be sharing these small but impactful projects with you! Because this is a blog! And that’s what we do here! Let’s dive in!

MISSION NUMERO UNO: OVERSEEDING THE CURB STRIP

I used to be that kid with the bad attitude when it came to lawns. Loving a really dense, thick lawn seemed like something for…other people. surely don’t care about that classic staple of American yards! have no need for a thick bed of vegetation that needs to constantly be mowed and watered and fussed over. Who cares if the lawn is just some struggling grass and clover and a bunch of weeds? I can mow weeds too, ya know!

I now totally understand the appeal of a nice lawn. First of all, it really does look good. Second of all, it feels nice—to walk on, sit on, roll around on if you’re a dog or that’s just your thing. Third of all, having a healthy lawn means fewer weeds, simply because they don’t thrive as well when competing for space and resources with well-established grass. And that thing I said about just mowing a weed lawn earlier? WRONG. WRONG WRONG WRONG. Weeds really do suck, because they take up a lot of space—meaning that when you mow over them, you expose a bare patch around the roots where their leaves and water consumption haven’t allowed anything else to grow. Multiply that by a lot of weeds and you have lots of vegetation but still a lot of exposed dirt. And when you have a bunch of bare dirt, and a dog who goes in and out of the backyard and then all over your house and on all your furniture all day long (FOR INSTANCE), it gets EVERYWHERE. I feel like the amount of dirt I’m constantly sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping up could be really cut down with some commitment to good lawn care.

Before getting bogged down in addressing the entire backyard, I actually wanted to focus on the grass in the front of the house. I’ve never done anything to maintain the grass in the front hellstrip other than mow it, and…it shows. It could definitely look a LOT better, and that’s an easy thing to do while the front of the house still awaits restoration. I’ve been working a tonnnnn on the side of the house, meaning the front has started to look increasingly shoddy.

FIRST, I blew the leaves. I have two honey locust trees in front of the house, I’d guess around 40 years old, and those little leaves get everywhere! Honey locusts can be great because the leaves are so small that a lot of people just let them compost themselves on the ground without raking or blowing, but that doesn’t really work for sidewalks and streets. Rather, it does work, but it’s a mess and it’s slippery and not good. Basically my strategy is to move from the house toward the street, blowing onto the sidewalk and the street and then sweeping up and bagging my piles. It works well. I used the blower to get as many leaves out of the grass as possible.

There are a few things you may notice about this picture, such as my sweatshirt bearing the likeness of my favorite Insta-cat, Princess Monster Truck. There is also the rest of my ensemble which I cannot explain other than to say it’s both disappointing and invigorating to be at this point where I simply no longer have the energy to care about looking a hot mess on the internet or in real life.

The thing I’d like to draw your attention to, though, is my SUPER AWESOME NEW LEAF BLOWER. When I bought this house, I did the ill-advised thing of buying the cheapest outdoor equipment available, basically without exception. The first lawnmower we bought was the manual kind you just wheel over the grass without the benefit of modern technology like, ya know, a motor. My leaf blower has heretofore been a super lousy battery-powered number, and while it does produce air it doesn’t have the power to disturb more than an upper layer of very dry, lightweight leaves, and the battery dies really fast and recharges slowly. So that’s where I’m coming from. Essentially I’ve just been replacing all of these lousy tools one by one as they either stop working or become unbearable.

Which leads me to: GREENWORKS! Back in the spring, I took the plunge (totally independent of this sponsored series) and bought the Greenworks Pro battery-powered lawnmower from Lowe’s to replace the bottom-of-the-line gas mower which I bought after quickly giving up on the manual mower. The gas mower died, and the options were to basically spend as much as the mower cost to have it repaired or just invest in something new. Over the past few years, the market has been flooded with battery-powered outdoor power equipment, and it seems to clearly be the wave of the future, so I opted to just go for it and I’m SO glad I did. No gas! No oil! No smoke! No yanking on a string over and over again hoping that this is the pull that will finally persuade the engine to start!

But who really cares how clean it is if it doesn’t really work? WELL. These Greenworks Pro tools are far and away the best thing I’ve ever used—battery-operated or otherwise. I never really understood the importance of a high-quality leaf blower until I upgraded to this one, and it’s kind of like…OH, THAT’S how this is supposed to work!! It saves SO MUCH work when it actually does the thing it’s supposed to do! The power that comes out of this thing is insane, and it just keeps goinggggg and goingggg and goinggggggg. The upfront investment of these tools did strike me as a bit high when I started looking into them, but considering how well they work, that they don’t require any future investment of oil or gas, and are far less prone to issues that might require professional repair (meaning $ and time without your tools!), I actually think they’re totally reasonably priced. Plus, they’re just SO COOL! SO FUTURE!

When the leaf blowing was done, it was just a matter of popping the battery out of the new leaf blower and popping it into my well-loved lawnmower! The great thing is that the batteries—as long as they’re the same voltage—interchange between tools, so you don’t have to buy a new battery/charger every time you want to add a tool to the arsenal. That’s why it’s smart to pick a brand and stick with it.

So, I mean this sincerely. I love this lawnmower. I never, ever thought I would love a lawnmower. But I love this lawnmower. Let me count the ways.

First, obviously, is the battery. I HATE dealing with gas and oil, so that was my main motivation to go battery-powered, but it’s SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT.

Out of the box, it’s basically ready to use. There are like three things to screw together and it’s ready to go. For the leaf blower, you just insert the battery and you’re off to the races. Amazing.

And then. It starts with a button. A button!

It’s SO QUIET. The first time I used it, I wasn’t even sure if it was working properly because it was so quiet. I can listen to podcasts while I mow the grass without the sound of the mower drowning out my earbuds. It’s a REVELATION. And, like, stunningly cool if you’re used to a gas mower.

It’s so light. This is not a self-propelled mower, but it’s so easy to push that I don’t feel like it’s necessary. But they make one of those now, too!

It’s compact! I mean, in use, it’s the size of a regular lawnmower, but it can kind of fold up and hang on the wall the rest of the time. Admittedly I have no clear wall in my garage to hang it on, but it’s nice to know this is an option for the future when I tame the hoard.

The height adjustment! IT’S JUST A LEVER! On my old mower, you literally had to remove the wheels and reinstall them to change the mower height. As such, I put it on the lowest setting when I assembled it and then never changed it.

WHICH BRINGS US BACK TO MY GRASS. I used to think mowing on anything other than the lowest setting was the dumbest thing ever. Why would you do that to yourself? Imagine you’re getting your hair cut, and the barber proposes just cutting it just a little bit every week instead of a couple of inches that’ll last you a few months. Who has time to go to the barber every week?*

*some people do, and it frightens me.

The thing I didn’t understand is that unlike hair, grass needs a little length to maintain its overall health! If you cut it as short as you can go every time, you’re shooting yourself in the foot because the grass can’t properly develop and thicken, and then you invite weeds which grow faster than the grass, so you need to mow more, and your grass still looks like garbage. I’ve learned this the hard way so you don’t have to. Also, sometimes it pays to even just do the smallest amount of reading about stuff.

ANYWAY. In this case, I’m overseeding existing grass, and that’s a special kind of a process. For overseeding, you DO actually want the lowest setting to give new grass seed the best chance at success. Also—typically I allow my grass clippings to just mulch out the side of the mower, but for this you want to use the bag attachment and collect the clippings. The point is to expose soil!

After blowing the leaves and mowing, this gives you an idea of what’s left. That poor grass—it’s really trying! And the weeds are also trying! But it’s just a patchy thin state of affairs.

At this stage, you have a couple options: thatching or aerating. No lie—growing up, we had a landscaping company come and deal with our grass so actually knowing about this stuff is rather new to me. I remember when they’d aerate every year—essentially, breaking up the soil and adding fertilizer—but I don’t remember ever hearing about thatch. Thatch is the layer of stuff created by dead grass, clippings, and dead roots. Most of the time it’s an OK thing, but not really when you’re trying to get new grass seed to take. Sometimes thatch gets so thick that it actually causes the grass to thin out, so thatching isn’t exclusively for overseeding—some sources say to do it about once a year!

Learning. So. Much.

So anyway. I decided to thatch. With a manual thatcher—which is good for something like this, but I can imagine it being EXHAUSTING for a whole lawn. There are motorized versions, though, and they’re pretty affordable.

I kinda want one? That also feels like a new territory of lawn obsession I’m not sure I’m ready for.

Time for seed! I picked up this Scotts Turf Builder seed spreader a few years ago for my first attempt at seeding the backyard, and this bag of Scotts Sun & Shade Mix over the weekend to overseed this front strip. I compared a bunch of different grasses and seeds to land on this one—it’s a mix of medium and fine-bladed grass (I personally don’t like larger blade grasses), and the idea is basically that the characteristics of each different type compliment the others—so if one type isn’t doing well because of too much foot traffic, or too little water, or too little sun, or too much sun, another will take over that affected area and thrive.

Also, it’s blue! The seeds are coated in fertilizer and stuff to retain moisture and other science things, so you just spread it and water it. No hay, no additional fertilizer steps—couldn’t be easier. If you forget any of the steps or aren’t sure what setting to use on the spreader, not to fear. It’s all on the bag! I gotta hand it to the Scotts packaging and product designers—they do a great job of walking you through it all.

Here is me, candidly watering my new grass seed in my sexy DIY clothes as though someone isn’t standing the street waiting for cars to pass to snap photos of me. Totally normal, not weird at all.

I finished off by walking up and down and edging both sides of the curb strip and sweeping up errant grass seed and any other debris. It’s a small thing but I love when the bluestone sidewalk and curb are all neat and tidy! I may have one BILLION things to do to restore the front of this house, but until then—this is the kind of thing that makes a house look well-loved and cared for. So excited to see how this grass develops—I can see you now, perfect green carpet!


45 Comments

  1. Goes off on his wardrobe; meanwhile rocks the most incredibly cute cat sweater I’ve ever seen.

    :)

  2. Only you could make me feel like this must be the most fun job ever, and I should run to Lowe’s and buy one of everything you linked. :)

  3. You are so lucky! I love Locusts!!! They are so beautiful. I love the dappled light that they give. We had one that -sadly- died. So it will be chopped down next week. The wood is really great for making things, however it is so hard that -apparently- you have to sharpen all your tools after working with it. It is also a really nice color of wood.
    Don’t worry, I am much older than you and still not the person I thought I would be when I grow up (my that sounds bad).

    • I’m the say way – and I’m 53! It’s the old I still know what I want to do when I grow up thang.

      Oh well…

    • We have learned over the years that there are some tasks worth paying someone to do, like a lawn service for fertilizing, seeding and aeration. My husband broke down the costs, and buying the product was pretty equivalent to having a service come do it. So, once you get to that point, the time saver of that is invaluable. And we wouldn’t get to to it in a timely fashion, while the service does.

      • Yes, I agree, we started doing it ourselves, but it really is so much work, and if one of us falls out of the tree, we are actually worse off. And we basicly don’t know what we are doing anyway, to be honest.

    • Bummer about the tree!! My honey locusts are so funny looking right now…the utility company showed up one morning in the spring and just TOTALLY butchered them to keep them away from the power lines in the most inelegant way possible, so now I guess I’m hoping to hire someone who can clean them up and re-shape them into something…tree-shaped. I thought I’d do it myself but those limbs are deceptively high! I wish I just happened to have a cherry-picker lift thing on hand, haha.

      • My experience is that you have to be careful with cutting off part of the branches. If we cut them off halfway, we would end up with a very unnatural looking bunch of leaves at the end. They have rather invisible flowers but they smell wonderful.

  4. Hey Daniel. NEVER apologize for your looks. I don’t think you looked a hot mess here at all. In fact, i think you’ve grown into the manly looking adult you are becoming, full looking-ish bear and all! :-) Can we say, butch?

    Anyway, a great post on caring for your lawn. I try to do that, but right now, I’m woefully shy on the shekles to do any of it at the moment (unemployment at the moment will sometimes do that!) but I DID get a Scotts broadcast spreader similar to yours, but it’s an older model, found at the Habitat Restore here in town new in box, not even assembled for $15 last year. Sadly, it does not have the newer version’s edgeguard, but for $15, new, hey why not!

    I do have a gas mower, but it’s a Honda, and not the “budget” model, got it used for $250 in 2016 and has been reliable. I do have a Troy Bilt weed eater that repaired, by me in the spring with a new gas tank assembly, new carburetor and O ring for said carb as it was getting too much air to oil/gas mixture (it’s a 2 stroke) and I suspected the gas cap was the culprit for much of the issue. $50 or so later and some time one sunny morning sitting just inside the door to my shed with the warm morning sunshine hitting the front of the shed, I swapped out parts and vroom! It works!. :-) However, I’m like that, I take time to figure out and fix my own stuff, and that does include electrical appliances (my dryer twice), the first was the timer mechanism (mechanical) and later the motor start switch ON the motor but it also sends the second half of the 240V needed for the heating element as well had carboned up. A visit to an appliance forum and a tech, revealed it was an easy and no cost fix, just unscrew said switch from the motor and disassemble and clean the contacts, easy, peasy. Once I did that, I has heat again!

    Anyway, I bet it’ll all look fantastic! Today, I’m going to get my $12 hand pruner saw from Hahbor Freight that I bought and then proceeded to cut down two Arborvitae trees on the front of my house with it in Sept of ’16, 2 months after moving in! By hand! I still have ’em sitting in my back yahd so why not try cut ’em and stick ’em in the wahd waste can for next week’s pickup? I have today, tomorrow and Sunday as it’ll be dry, but in the low 60’s with scattered clouds and sun while the gettin’s good because midweek, we are expecting upper 50’s and rain, at least part of the time.

    Looking forward to this series of posts as you upload them. Keep at it Daniel!

    • Thanks John! You are a much braver man than me!! I will take apart a house, tear into plumbing, run new electric, blah blah blah, but I will not go near trying to fix a gas mower or a car or anything remotely like that. I want nothing to do with it!! I’m pretty sure I know how to top off my wiper fluid but I think I’ve comfortably accepted that I will never know how to change my oil or what, exactly, a carburetor is. (so maybe we can say a little butch, but also very lacking in some areas, hahah!)

      • There’s a better than average chance that any car you own doesn’t even have a carburetor anyway.
        Find yourself a partner who can change the oil while you do the lawn!

      • Lol what! I thought all cars had them! You know…right next to the…chassis? Near the…shocks? Above the…catalytic converter? You know. Car things!

        I’d also accept the handy partner! Send resumes and dowry details to daniel@manhattan-nest.com!

      • I’m fortunate that my late father taught me much of what I do know about both car and home repair and can do the Google Kung Fu to get the answers I need if I don’t know something.

        Now I need to go cut down into smaller pieces the dead limbs of the Arborvitae trees I cut back in Sept of ’16 so they’ll fit in my yard waste container… :-)

      • The carburetor have been replaced with fuel injectors. Cars used to be much more mechanical. Now they’re all computer-y.

  5. Do you think Lowe’s can sponsor a greenworks snow blower so I know if they work? ;)
    The leaf blower looks awesome.

    • LUCKY FOR YOU they don’t have to (I wish they did, woulda saved me some cash!)—I actually got that (this one!)…a year ago? Two? I can’t actually remember. I’m responsible for about 200 feet of sidewalk shoveling, so it’s not SO MUCH that it can’t be done by hand but enough that a snow blower was a very welcome addition! I’ll temper this by saying I’ve never had a gas snow blower—used one once or twice but really never considered getting one…I just can’t stomach another gas tool if it’s at all avoidable, such is my disdain for futzing with trying to start the engine and remembering to deal with oil and trying to figure out if the gasoline is too old (IT GOES BAD?!?! apparently…).

      SO. It’s good. It’s not AMAZING, but it’s good. The battery typically lasts long enough to do the whole thing, and of course operation is easy and simple. If the battery dies, it only takes about 20 minutes to recharge. It definitely seems to struggle with more than a few inches of snow so in a heavy storm it’s best to try to make a few passes throughout the day so it doesn’t accumulate too much. I also feel like the chute clogs up a lot, but I don’t know if this is specific to this product, to all snow blowers, or because of user error. I would buy it again, but it’s the one tool out of the 4 Greenworks Pro tools I own that I’m not totally blown away by. Let me know if you have more questions about it!

      • I’ve considered getting a snow blower for all of the years that I’ve been an “adult” with a driveway and sidewalk that I’m responsible for clearing. However I HATE the gas powered yard appliances so much because I can never get them started with the string pulling and dealing with smelling like gasoline, bleh. I rented a house in 2005 and it had a gas mower in the garage. I tried and failed to get it started one time and immediately went to the home improvement store to buy one of those old fashioned reel mowers. It sucks on long grass but I still use it 13 years later. I also still shovel all of my snow with a shovel and hate that our driveway is 100′ long combined with the 90′ of sidewalk. But i try to justify it. Shoveling snow is a workout, it’s cheap, it’s an important skill, I don’t have to spend money maintaining my shovels (which is a lie, I have to repair and replace them every few years except for for the one super old 1950s shovel that is the best).

        This might be the year I finally get a snow blower (electric) if there’s a good sale this winter.

  6. Go you, being all #relateable with your actual work clothes! #blogger

    Heehee. Mine are threadbare purple sweats covered in paint with a large hole in the side and the bottom elastics have been replaced with the rubber bands they use to pack your salad bar fixings at Whole Foods. Maybe I should upgrade, but the threadbareness and hole are actual assets in the Texas heat.

    That said, I love my battery powered mower too! I got a lithium ion Ryobi that folds completely down into a brick and has a handle on top and weighs under 40 lbs, so I can literally pick it up with one hand and stick it on a shelf. It’s not the best if you’re the kind of person who waits til your lawn has reverted to meadow before mowing, but like you, I have read and accepted the gospel of mowing high and often, and my ideal size of lawn is “ten minutes,” so it all works out.

    Adulting FTW!

  7. I think you look hot. And I’m a 40 year old happily married mom of 3. Nice beard. Very manly looking. :)

    • BLESS YOU for saying so, Wilma. I’ll take it. ;)

    • Wilma, I’m glad you said it! And I’m 55. Also still have trouble getting things done but am improving. By the time I’m 90 I’ll have the system down pat, likely with no energy to do any of it.

  8. Trust, there’s nothing wrong with your outfit. ^as mentioned above, you look good to us. I’m impressed by the amount of research you do for these posts! Lawncare is a mess I usually avoid. I inherited a nice lawn when i bought my house and employ “lawn guys” to come and deal with it so I don’t have to!

  9. This post has actually inspired me to overseed our VERY sad front lawn once we take down our halloween graveyard. I’ve been totally avoiding the thatching thing since we moved in over 2 years ago and I have a sad sneaking suspicion that it will be the most impactful for our front lawn (at least until we can afford sprinklers).

  10. I identify spiritually with this post. In fact I read the first three paragraphs out loud to my husband, because even though I’m a longtime reader and know the trauma of old house ownership…we bought an old house. While there are some days I wish I had some builder beige box with a small patch of well curated front lawn, most days I just lovingly pat my wood floors and shiplap and call the dirt patches “character.”

    A few weeks ago I bought those strap on lawn-aerator shoe things, with the full intention of doing this overseeding process. Still unopened. But this post was encouraging. Also, you do look super cute and butch and bearish and all those handsome man things.

  11. Look at you go, Cheese! Making me feel like I too can do outdoor green thumb things.

  12. I was curious about the motorized version of the de-thatcher. It turns out that it is part of an entire lawnmower. It’s just like an attachment to it and actually really reasonable considering you get both. Just saying.

    • Oh, but wait, the GREENWORKS people make an electric cultivator. Is that the same thing for de-thatching?

  13. Yeah, I tried dethatching my giant lawn by hand with a spring tined rake (as per the garden shop pamphlet instructions). It’s damned hard work, I then decided to buy a dethatcher, only to discover that such a thing is not sold in SA hardware stores at all.

    Not sure quite how other people do it around here (hire a guy, probably) but I turned to Amazon and got a lawn dethatcher off there (the UK version though, as I wasn’t sure if an American one would cope with 220V). It works pretty well, the overseeding was less successful though, it made no noticeable difference, although that may also have been user error… (aka forgetting to water for a few weeks or so…)

  14. I love all the new electric rechargeable garden tools. No mess. No fuss. Not noisy or smelly. Makes that lawn work much more pleasure-able and probably, more GREEN too. I don’t know how you make even the drudgery of yard work sound fun and interesting. Your writing is spot-on for us all. And, thanks for working with LOWE”S. They are the better guys and their employees actually know what they are talking about there instead of that other place. Go team Lowes!

  15. Wow, you blew my mind with this thatch thing. Totally explains why there are some bare spots in my yard. I will have to look into this. Thank you!

  16. I swear you must get 36 hours a day to accomplish everything you’ve managed to do to your house! Here’s to a season full of cliches and plaid shirts.

  17. I have a Menard’s and Home Depot right by my house and I drive 9 miles to the Lowe’s…There’s a cheap plug for ya!! I happen to think you work wear is pretty cool! I seriously hope this blog never stops. I mean I don’t care if you’re 90 and being pushed around in a wheelchair with a rake; I want this blog to continue forever! You are one hardworking, motivated guy and you shouldn’t get down on yourself because you have accomplished so much and this blog gives us so much enjoyment!

    • AND I forgot to mention you are a very handsome guy. You get even better looking as you mature!

  18. Lawncare is a world of work all by itself. New tools are motivating for sure. I must try. Thanks for the info.
    I was also very excited to see recognize the front room of Bluestone Cottage. It looks amazing. The original floors and gorgeous windows.

  19. Not sure if it’s the cut of the kitty sweatshirt but someone is looking buff!

  20. Great tips! I’ll have to tryout one of those cordless lawn mowers.

  21. I think you are a total hottie in your Princess Monster sweatshirt! Convinced me to check out a new blower for my oak leaf infestation too!

  22. Who knew lawn care could be so enjoyable to read about? <3

    I'm a first-time lawn owner and did all sorts of research about how to maintain my seven small, sloped, and oddly shaped grassy areas. Since a lawnmower would only be able to access maybe a third of grass and I hate the noise of gas-powered tools, I ended up going with a GreenWorks string trimmer and it's been great. Unlike a lot of other battery-powered trimmers I read about, the battery holds out for about 40 minutes (long enough for the whole job as long as I don't get behind) and the other people who use it and I (we are of differing heights) appreciate the easy-to-adjust height settings.

    • That’s great to know! The string trimmer is next on my wishlist to add to my little Greenworks family—just waiting for my current piece of crap to kick the bucket!

  23. I LOVE the slate sidewalks!! And I think you look pretty butch in your pussycat shirt ;-)

  24. I happen to think you look very outdoorsy-chic. I thought so even before you mentioned your attire. I actually thought, “how does Daniel manage to look so put together while doing the yard in mucked up jeans?” Just my two cents.

  25. The side of your house looks so amazing- can’t wait to hear more about your plans for the front! Not sure how you make even overseeding a curb strip interesting, but I really enjoy all of your posts.

  26. I think the first three paragraphs describe me exactly. I feel like this is why Martha is an icon, no? Maybe next year I’ll actually overseed the front yard. It feels like a lost cause this fall, even if it is 70 degrees here all week.

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