Earth Day 2009

A green lawn is the biggest landscaping money pit.
All day long I have been watching the guys wiz back and forth with the dethacher which butchers the lawn in an effort to improve it. Behind the machine a couple more men diligently rake all the dead stuff free from the healthy blades of grass.
Multiple piles of brown thatch are everywhere across the yard.

Then the men pass over it with the same machine that punctures the lawn again while it deposits primo grass seed into the whole dirty mess. You’d think the seed was mixed with shredded money it is so insanely expensive.

I’m supposed to wait a week or more trying to keep family and pets off the huge seed propagating beds.
Now I know how someone came up with the whole chia pet idea.
Daisy finds nirvana in a good back scratch in the yard.
With a happy face and the wisdom of the ages she greeted me at the door imbedded with topsoil and seed in her gorgeous black coat. Sprinkle her with water, wait a few days and she’d be a perfect rep for the chia pet company.

The lawn event is not over.
Irrigation companies around here are pocketing a fortune.
Beneath all the green stuff is a maze of pipes and drip lines that are set on a timer housed in an expensive box in the garage. On schedule, showerheads pop out of the grass to give the lawn a daily drink because grass is so fragile it instantly declines without coddling. The water makes the grass grow nice and fast so the lawn guys show up once a week to give the lawn an expensive haircut and a blow-dry.

Then there are the weeds, brought in on the wind, the lawnmower, on shoes or maybe in the grass seed. If you are truly insane you can call in another ‘professional’ service to spray lots of pesticides and fertilizers as an antidote. The same lawn where your baby thrills to take her first barefoot step, and your faithful dog wrestles and plays ball with your innocent children.

There is an escalating interest in ‘organic’ products in our area, and the play fields around the schools are piloting this new program. This is great news. As a homeowner though, it takes a deep-pocketed commitment. A terrific horticulturist in our area is named John Horne. He is very knowledgeable about these things so I went to him to purchase corn gluten, a product that suppresses the crab grass seeds before they germinate. You have to apply this product three times during the first season and each bag is expensive. How can a product made from corn be so costly?

Anyway. At the end of the summer, the best thing to do for your prized lawn is to rent an aerator that has these heavy prongs on it so as you push it around the yard, it pokes holes in the grass to give it more oxygen. Then you pass over it again dispersing the primo seed into the ragged mess.

Continue to water it, as the water company loves your business.
When the leaves fall from the trees, be sure to rake them up quickly so you don’t smother all your hard work.

I rest my case.

Jim and I need to shrink our lawn and expand our flower beds.
Or have our heads examined…

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