All right, so it’s probably a testimony to my inexperience and hubris that I thought this my idea, but I did think it so, and it turns out it’s not, because here and there in Minneapolis where I was helping out an old friend who’d just had heart surgery were wide white swatches on lawns where newly re-seeded places had been covered with row-covers or something indistinguishable from them. (Take a breath, Kate, or as that friend used to say when we were roommates in college several decades ago, "Du calme, du calme." She was a French major.)
The row-cover idea came to me several years back when I wanted to overseed in the heat of summer. (Why then? Beats me.) The technique — combined with top-dressing and frequent watering — worked surprisingly well, so I’ve incorporated it into my lawn gardening web-site article.
In all the reading I did for that article, I never once saw mention of such a technique. (Well, maybe once, where someone suggested mulching with straw.) Yet there they were, as I say, in Minneapolis, the white rectangles on upper-class lawns, usually on slopes, so the idea may have been more to prevent seed from washing away than to provide shade and reduce the need for watering.
It’s odd; I feel vindicated, but I also feel let down, almost ripped off. That was my idea! Mine, all mine! We hates them, Precious, yesss, we does…