With the time for winter seeding upon us in Arizona, we decided to take a big step in reviving the back lawn. If you too are dealing with an uneven and barren bit of dirt then there are a few surprisingly easy steps you can take to getting your winter grass on.
Materials List: Winter seed (we used Rye), lawn roller, handheld seed spreader, mulch or fill dirt as needed, steer manure, shovel
Step 1: Because we have some MAJOR holes and divets, our first step was to even out the ground. We mulched what little grass we had and filled in major holes with fill dirt. Then we ran our hose on almost full blast on and off for about 18 hours, until the ground was soggy and spongy when we stepped on it.
Step 2: Next we rented a roller from our local home improvement store for only $14 for the day. The roller is a hollow barrel on its side with a handle. Fill the drum with water (this makes it heavy) and roll it across the lawn from the high points towards the low points. This takes a while and I advise having someone with muscles do it (this is where Mr. Patch of Grass was indispensable!)
Step 3: After your lawn is even, let things dry out for a day or two.
Step 4: Now spread the winter seed! We borrowed a seed spreader from a neighbor, but these are relatively inexpensive to purchase. Spread your seed making sure not to get in your rocks as this is a waste of seed and may result in grass growing where you don’t want it.
Step 5: Once your seed is spread you need to cover it with steer manure. Using your hands (you will want a lot of soap and a hot shower after this step) or a shovel spread a thin layer over your yard covering the seed.
Step 6: Water your lawn 5 times a day for 5 minutes. After about 2 weeks you can cut back on the water and enjoy your soft winter lawn. Right now we water for five minutes once a day, three times a week and everything is looking fresh and green. All in all, while it took a little work and a lot of water, leveling our lawn has been one of our favorite home improvements so far–it’s is so gratifying to have soft grass to walk on in the cool weather!