Fix my yard!

Everyday my mom comes home from work and winds down to her daily dose of Home and Garden Television. She relaxes in the recliner and daydreams of a beautiful, lush, green yard where she can sip margaritas in her rocking Adirondack chair. Unfortunately, my mother’s front yard is not her ideal Garden of Eden, nor can we afford to hire some hunky landscaper from HGTV to mend the problems (ooh but I wish we could!). As I currently sit at home on Easter break, I look out my front picture window, wishing the picture were a prettier site.

Since beginning our studies of the Page farm, I often find myself contemplating the issues of  my  own f ront yard. The grass in front of our house is very patchy, and a gully of greenless soil surrounds the driveway and the sidewalks. For as long as I can remember, we have never been able to successfully grow along the sidewalks or driveway. The grassline just abruptly ends about six inches away from the cemented areas on all sides. One side of the house flaunts a beautiful emerald green lawn, while the other side, exposed to significantly less sunlight, consists of mostly bare earth.

Unlike the Pages, we do not have awesome  donkeys and beer horses grazing our property, but our soil seems similarly over-compacted. Also, living in Pennsylvania infers a much lower iron content within the soil profile. According the handy dandy Web Soil Survey, my property consists of 72 percent Gilpin-Weikert complex soil which has a typical profile of:

0-5″  Channery silt loam; 5-15″ very channery silt loam; 15-18″ extremely channery silt loam; 18-28″ bedrock.

As you can see, the soil profile is not very deep. Also, it is important to know that we live upon a  hill with an elevation of approximately 1,500 feet above sea level. Therefore, we must be careful not to disrupt the land too greatly and accidentally cause erosion induced land slides. Does anyone have any ideas what could be done to make my yard look like the cover of Better Homes and Gardens??? Perhaps a class field trip to Sixburgh is in order!

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