Dad came over Saturday night, and Sunday we really got down and dirty with the remainder of the lawn. We got a nice early start at about 7:30 in the morning, and it took all day, but we are FINISHED now and it feels soooooo good. It looks wonderful, too.
The cultivator attachment on the tractor worked like a charm, breaking up the clay without any trouble, even on the first pass. Even the few large rocks we ran over (the biggest were watermellon-sized) didn't faze it, although they did make some alarming sounds when the tines struck them. The grass, sticks and weeds just got chewed right up and incorporated back into the soil.
After the cultivator had gone over it a few times, it was time for some rock-picking. We made 3 or 4 pretty big pile of apple to grapefruit-sized rocks, bucket-full by bucket-full. And thats not even counting all the ones that were picked up close enough to the edges of the trees to just get tossed directly into the woods. My back, knees, hips and arms are still sore. It's a real workout - squat, pick, stand, throw... and repeat (on one of the hottest days so far this year, too). Cary and I spent a lot of time doing this, and I'm sure it will pay off in the long run. Meanwhile, Dad kept making more passes with the cultivator, and the dirt just kept looking better and better as the clods broke up even more.
Eventually we decided we had gotten most of the rocks out and the clods broken up nicely, so we swapped the cultivator out and put the rake on the tractor. Of course, this turned up some more rocks, so it was back out with the buckets for Cary and me... whew.
Once we had everything graded and smoothed out beautifully, it was time to put the seed down. It felt like I walked about a mile, back and forth, until the whole area was covered. We used Scotts Sun & Shade mix. I sure hope it does well!
The final touch was to roll the seed in with a roller our neighbor kindly let us borrow. Dad had noticed it parked in the pasture across the driveway from our place the last time he was here, so my job was to go introduce myself and ask to borrow it this time. That way Dad didn't need to bring his, which meant he didn't have to drive the dumptruck over, which means a serious savings on fuel. I was a bit nervous, but Paul and his wife Debbie were super nice and more than willing to let us use the roller - he even delivered it over to us midway through the day! I really should have gone over and introduced myself earlier. Oh well, better late than never, I guess. :)
So, by the end of the day we had a lovely, smooth, perfectly graded, seeded lawn-to-be! Now we just have to water it twice a day for the next two weeks. Luckily, nature took things in hand last night with a big, soaking downpour and some thunder and lightning, which was a good thing because we were all exhausted. Hopefully the rain will continue for the next several days, until we can recouperate enough to get all the hoses and sprinklers set up.