This past Saturday I was stuck in traffic (76 minutes to go 4 miles!) on 422. As usual, I had NPR on and caught most of You Bet Your Garden. It’s hosted by Mike McGrath, who used to work for one of the gardening magazines at Rodale and for Marvel Comics.
As luck would have it, I’m in the process of taking down my above-ground swimming pool. I don’t know the best way to turn the sand and compacted clay soil into lawn so I gave the show a call. Hey, I was going to miss my train to New York and the play I wanted to see. A radio show seemed like good entertainment.
It turns out that the show isn’t live. It’s taped on Wednesday afternoons. I left a message with my question and contact info. Keena from WHYY (I’m a member; are you?) called me this afternoon to see if I were still interested in being on the show. Sure, why not. We set up a time, and at 4:45 p.m., she called me back and I was a radio star!
Unfortunately, what I thought would be a simple answer about covering the former pool site until warmer weather and then placing sod or planting seed turned into a much more complicated solution. Mike recommended that I do nothing to the site until August 15 when I rent a rototiller or tractor and tear up the entire back yard. Then I get to have lawn compost delivered, rake in some seed and by next spring, I’ll have a beautiful lawn. If I followed my plan, it would look patchy. Mike’s way gives me a consistent color and gets rid of the weeds that are in lawn now. Plus the added beauty of brown soil until the middle of September or so.
I don’t know if I’m going to follow his advice. It’s a lot of work. But I know it’s probably the right thing to do. Look for mud pictures in the summer!
And don’t forget to listen to the show this weekend or through the archives on the web site. If it matches with the time they called, I’m on near the end.