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Growing weeds instead of grass
Jul 13, 2012

 

Summer really is extra special in our neck of the woods. It’s an incredibly short season, so we really have a unique appreciation of all its benefits, even though it seems to come and go in a blur. I guess that’s why we gripe so much when summer is sometimes stolen from us by bad weather. But given “normal” weather patterns, we leap into the season with glee and gusto, pursuing our favourite outdoor activities. 
What is it for you?  Golf, tennis, boating, cottaging, fishing, camping, picnicking or how about:
Lawn maintenance
Not your favourite pastime, eh?  More like your least favourite headache?  Doesn’t it make you tired just thinking about all it requires?
Cutting, cursing, weeding,  watering, whining, seeding,  re-seeding,  spraying, praying, fertilizing, aerating, etc. 
It’s really ironic that spring is when you spend half your time trying to get a lawn started and summer is when you spend the other half trying to get it to stop. Man is the only species who plants a crop he can’t eat, but still has to mow every week!
Do you find yourself envious of people who either have a tiny yard with no room for grass or a larger one extensively landscaped with things other than grass?  There are moments of summer gardening desperation when a green concrete yard makes perfect sense to me.
I wonder why grass grows  so well in  flower beds and sidewalks but so poorly in front yards. If we don’t want it, it grows like crazy, but the grass we work on day and night turns brown and dies. There’s no gardening justice.
Have you ever noticed how grass in sidewalk cracks never turns brown?  Quick! Transplant that into those bare patches in the middle of the lawn. Maybe it’ll take root and flourish.
Fat chance!  
Actually, we bring all this work on ourselves. If we could only accept a less than perfect lawn. Which brings us to: 
Dandelions 
There’s a whole field of them near our cottage. I’ve never thought of dandelions as being “pretty” before, but I must admit that in that field they look great. It’s all relative. “Pretty” in a natural setting, but when found in your pristine residential front lawn, they’re “weeds.”
The trouble is that all this diligent maintenance seems like a no-win situation. If it’s not dandelions, it’s something else taking control of your lawn, such as some other aggressive, fast-growing  weed that’s pretty and/or ugly, depending on your point of view. Mother Nature is growing weeds 24 hours a day and you’re pulling them out an hour a week.   
The philosopher who said, “Work done well need never be done again,” obviously never heard of weeding. You can’t win. Or can you?  A veteran of the battle for the perfect lawn says that his new philosophy is, “Nothing is a weed as long as it’s green.”
Did you hear the one about the small town that decided to save maintenance costs by using goats to cut the municipal grass? Interesting idea, but the mayor of the town said that the really hard part was teaching the goats how to start the mower.
Lawn lines:
• What the world really needs is a course in speed weeding.
• Here’s a guy with the right idea. His entire yard is one basic ground cover —asphalt.
• Creating a beautiful lawn is very hard work. “Seeding” is believing.
• If you pull out one less weed each day, very soon you’ll have the habit licked completely.
• Gardening is actually best in the winter, since all lawns look the same under three feet of snow.