Saturday, February 04, 2006


Annual renewal sparked little change in the nature of my lawn. By mid-January the weeds spiked higher than the new fescue I'd seeded back in the Autumn. Some of the strange grass and flower had blown over from my neighbors' yards, but most of it had lay in the yard latent for some time.

In the past, I'd tried a number of different avenues to fight the spread of these nuisances. Once when I was younger, I simply planted more Kentucky 31 fescue seed, hoping the good grass would envelope the bad so no one else would notice the crabgrass and bermuda winding their long roots under the lush grass that showed to my neighborhood. For a while, I received a lot of compliments and felt great about the yard. That time lasted only a couple weeks, however, before the entire lawn was overcome and appeared worse than it ever had.

After that, I called one of the local lawn care businesses. Heavy price to pay, but I figured it worth the effort. The caretaker, after reviewing the lawn and grasses within, convinced me that bermuda, a grass I considered a weed in my lawn, would be a better option. Deciding the man knew his business better than me, I agreed to go with his counsel. All my grasses were stripped, and for the worst season of my life, I had nothing but dirt and specks on the entire lot. As the bermuda finally sprouted in places, I thought the troubles may at last be ending. Not so. Clover and foxtail blossomed far faster than the bermuda could grow, and sadly, parts of my lawn failed to allow bermuda to take root at all. As a whole, the bermuda never grew well in my yard, and fescue had been the correct seed of choice all along. Now out money and with a yard that desperately needed seeding for any good whatsoever, in a fit of rage, I poured Round-up all over everything. Kill it! Kill it all! The good, the bad, all of it.

The madness passed, and I reseeded yet again. In the coming months, the lush greenery stood out, even with knotweed running up cracks in my curbs and driveway while broadleaf plantain and dandelion surged here and there about the lawn. Recently, I've tried strong herbicides, the ones farmers use, to take care of my problem. Again I received flattery from friends and neighbors, but I no longer care about what others think of my yard. I want to be satisfied. This year, I thought, would be different.

Yet, I stand here in early February, and wild violet rules my yard. In a way, at times, I find it pretty. If I watch it too long, though, I know it will ruin every good piece of grass I've grown. Generally, I wait until March to mow, but this year I'll have to start sooner.

Mowing's not the answer, and I realize that. The solution lies in dropping to my knees, and then focusing on, one weed at a time, pulling them at their roots. It's the only way, and it's likely to take the rest of my life. But I'm going to fight.


Scot said...

I'm having visions of you attacking weeds looking like Bill Murray going after the groundhog in Caddyshack. I suppose you could take a certain amount of pride in knowing that your lawn is welcoming to a wide variety of plant-life. It sounds like you've learned a lot in the classification of these different "weeds". But remember, a weed is only a weed if you don't want it to be there. You could relish their existence. Perhaps, even put markers, like a botanical garden has, noting the species and variety of the plants your lawn is hosting.

Brett said...

Ummm... Rich, you could always just move. Isn't that how most people try to solve these sorts of problems? They just try to leave 'em behind and never look back.

Rich said...

Well... this really wasn't about my lawn at all. It was about sin in my life.

Guess I didn't get that across.

I'm pretty sure if I was to run, every other lawn I'd have would have weed problems, too. (Maybe if I just lied in an apartment without a lawn, huh?)

Rich said...

Sorry, "lied" should be "lived" in the comment above.

P&S said...

I got the analogy, but maybe that's just because I know what a loser you are and what a great lawn you have.

Love you Big Guy.

P&S said...

In all seriousness, I thought this was a very good post. Good job by you for making us think a little.

Rich said...

Maybe a bit too esoteric. Sort of like an REM song? Decent-sounding, but what the heck are you talking about?

Regardless, I think it's a pretty picture. And fitting for what I tried to write.

DugALug said...


I thought is was pretty awesome article. I got it from the get-go.

I like it a lot.


Scot said...

Okay, so I'm not the deep thinker of the group, or at least I'm not in tune with Rich's thoughts.
Even in light of your true intent, the Caddyshack comment still stands.