Friday, April 21, 2006

Spring Thaw: part 2

As spring is upon us, I have something new to think about: my lawn.

When we bought our house last summer, I inherited a well kept yard. It didn't take too much effort to mow and keep the lawn looking pretty good until the snow came, though I cancelled the lawn fertizer service the previous owners had used. When the snow melted, our lawn looked pretty sad compared to our neighbors', which didn't surprise me because I hadn't used any "winterizer fertilizer". What did surprise me is that I cared. I briefly thought about suppressing those thoughts of caring and just "letting my lawn go" this year. It's not like I don't have other things to keep my busy. I don't have riding a riding mower like all my neighbors do, I don't have a weed wacker or power edgers or anything like that (my snow shovel also looks pretty sorry next to my neighbors' snow blowers) so it's a bigger investment for me anyway. It would mean a lot less work if I just let it go, and besides, lawns are so bourgeois.
I hadn't entertained these thoughts for very long when I started imagining the scenario where my lawn was infested with weeds because I let it go, and the weeds started spreading to my neighbors' yards, and they were really mad at me. So, in the end, I decided I needed to care for my lawn.
So I put fertizer down a couple weeks ago (I turned down the lawn care companies who offered to fertilize my lawn througout the season for way too much money (I guess I don't care that much)). Now my lawn is on the way to not being embarassing.
Jenny's post about cleaning was the inspiration for this post.


Nick said...

When we lived in our rented house in Provo, I let the back lawn go- mainly because I didn't have a sprinkler, and also because I didn't like my landlord.

Now that I own a lawn (2 of them!), I feel the same guilt as JonnyF since we have these retired neighbors that have decided to spend their retirement taking care of their yards. (My garden kicks his garden's pittuty though (I just wanted to say pittuty (is that how you spell it?))).

Jenny said...

I always thought it was "patootey." "Pittuty" looks like some kind of cancerous pituitary gland.

Jenny said...

Jon--I think that I should publicly note here that Nick is very involved in the yardwork (while I just tend to think about how nice it would be to work in the yard if I weren't already working in the house. The grass is always greener ... unless you decide to let your lawn go.)

and besides, lawns are so bourgeois.
My favorite line in the post. Because they are. And because on the one hand, living in Utah, I find it ridiculous that the societal expectation for one's yard is that it be green (we are in a desert after all. A desert settled by Easterners and immigrants from lush European countries, but still, it seems silly to try to transplant the old country out here) yet on the other hand I found myself quite put out last summer when between pregnancy, youth conference, girls camp, and scout camp our lawn died out during the last part of the summer.

randy said...

You guys have definitely hit a recent sore spot for me here. No, it is not because I'm letting my lawn go. Quite the opposite, in fact. What is sore for me is my body--back and legs. I'll give you 2 words and a URL: Zoysia grass ( So, this was my wife's project. She really wanted to do it this year (despite the fact that we were having a baby). It is this miracle grass that is more beautiful, takes less maintenance, kills weeds, doesn't let fire ants build, etc. etc. However, it is expensive in money, time, and pain. No, you can't just lay down sod like a normal grass. You have to plant it in "plugs". So basically, the plan is to dig a small hole, and plant a grass plug every 6 - 12 inches. Well, this easily translates into THOUSANDS of plugs. With each plug taking at least a few minutes, the amount of required labor explodes with your lawn square footage. Anyhow, we did the front 12 inches or so apart, and then scaled back for the side yards, and then scaled way back for the back yard. So, hopefully, it will beat out the St. Augustine grass (as the site claims it does) within 2-3 years for the front, 3-5 years for the sides, and 5-7 years for the back. Haha. Unfortunately, I'm not joking. But it should be a little better than that if we use fertilizer. Sorry for the rant. Just don't consider putting in your own zoysia unless you have a very small yard, or have insane amounts of man hours available.

Nick said...

Just pay some deacons to do it. They can be cheap labor, as long as you feed them and make them cookies.