Once people find out that you love to garden, the inevitable questions begin. I look forward to the questions. Advice is often solicited from friends, relatives and, on occasion, perfect strangers. It can be anything from "How come my tree died?" to "I have a green, leafy plant, do you know what it could be ?". A full range of questions. Lawn questions are always at the top of the list. My lawn, I use the term very loosely, is really more of a collection of weeds. Dandelions, ajuga, moss, and more abound but it is usually some shade of green and the dog loves it in spite of the weeds. I know what to do but I just haven't paid attention. The lawn has now become an embarrassment, The gardens have always come first. There is always something else that needs to be done. I confess, I don't always follow my own advice. I always recommend a soil test before fertilizing but it has been quite a while since I have actually tested my own soil. I have it on the 'to do' list! Many people say that a lawn is not practical but, a lawn is serene. It sets off a garden bed. It creates a green, negative space which is inviting to pets, children and the picnic table. I've never had the perfect lawn but I would settle for a bit of clover, instead of all the rest, mixed in with the bluegrass. Organic fertilizers are all the rage now and four step programs, which were formulated for the synthetic fertilizer market, are loosing favor. Thank goodness. I think I might be able to manage the organic approach ( I have a lot of compost) although it does include some hard labor. When asked what can be done to improve a compacted lawn, my answer has been to use a core aerator which will pull out a plug of soil and to then spread some compost to fill the holes. This will add microorganisms into the root zone and also improve the soil structure, among other things-I know, how boring! I much prefer manual equipment to power equipment. Today I used the core aerator, the 'step on it' kind in this picture. I 'stepped' so many times, I think that I could have climbed the Empire State Building. Then it was on to shoveling the compost which was spread and then raked into the holes. To me, there is nothing more gratifying than spreading compost. We each have our own thrills! This will be an ongoing process, one which will never be complete but I hope to actually have a healthier lawn. Tucker, the dog, couldn't be any happier!