Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mean MOW green

Well this is it, the time of the year which I genuinely fear – the time to MOW the lawn. I know that sounds kind of wimpy but you have to understand my yard. I have one of those unique patches of mud that grows more weeds than blades of grass. In addition to that, it rolls and undulates and has a big hill at one end. It is too big for an ordinary mower but too small and hilly for a rider.

Honestly it is not my fault. The deer wander around all winter like it’s Disneyland, repeatedly stomping the ground when it’s wet and muddy. What passes for grass, basically get pounded into a pocked mark landscape more resembling the moon than a yard. I even had the ground tested to explain my yard problems and they said my soil is Loess (prn. LUSS)? What the heck is Loess? It is basically a soil that erodes very easily and drains well. It can be very fertile with the right conditions but it’s fussy to get the balance just right . The problem is that it is always changing and depositing new soil from up the hill so constant enriching is required to keep up with the pattern.

But if I fertilize the grass, it GROWS and then I have to CUT IT more often. It is the same with water. The more water I put down, the grass always demands I cut it more. I guess I appreciate the exercise but during the peak of Spring and Summer, the grass will need cutting nearly twice per week. As already described, this is not a 20 minute fast-cut and to do it right takes a couple of hours. To exacerbate the issue, we have those odd-ball wild onion shoots that pop up at random. The lawn looks particularly disheveled anyway, but once those random dandelions, onions, and mushrooms start joining the party, the whole property starts looking like an unshaven garden salad after a frat party.

I have been down the path of a perfect lawn so I know what it takes. I tilled a smaller lawn, enriched it, seeded, and waited. Some unknown marauder drove doughnut circles with his car around it and made me paranoid. I re-seeded and the thing grew in perfectly. I was so proud of my new lawn I would cut it in TWO directions diagonally so the sun would hit the blades just right. I have also had a place that had ALL rock around it. It is fine, but I never quite get used to all that rock. It still needs maintenance to remove leaves and push the rocks back in their place. Also I still get this uncontrollable urge to start throwing them. Why? - because they are ROCKS!

So every year around this time, I start thinking about my only two remaining options – painting the grass or putting in artificial turf. Painting has become very popular with so many under-maintained foreclosure properties in the West. Artificial turf (or maybe just a putting green) is pricey but boy it would be fun to NOT CUT. However, I cannot imagine the obscenities that the deer would do on top of the turf nor the disrespect by the moles below? Nature never means well, it is just plain MEAN – well except for those wild onions and mushrooms on top of a tasty GREEN salad.

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