Sunday, October 9, 2011

Curb Appeal

It's that time of the year again.  Turf Wars.  Grass growing season. 

Here in the South, you reseed and grow your lawn in the fall.  Some try it in the Spring only to watch our Summer heat turn their baby grass into cornflakes within a month. 

So the men around here (I swear I've never seen a women do it) engage in the yearly ritual of lawn improvement.  This equates to de-thatching the lawn, spreading new seed, fertilizer, and straw and then assuming the twice daily waterings necessary to get the lawn to grow. 

SM and I gave up this practice years ago.  To each his own.  I have noted that all of the guys out there working in their yards gave up their chemical lawn service this year.  "Why?"  I asked.  

They ALL said that they still had weeds after being with their service.  Plus the expense.

It begs the question though, "Why bother at all?"  I mean, it's an endless cycle.  You really can't alter what Mother Nature commands.  "You will have weeds!  Your grass will die!  Your grass will turn brown!"

All this week, I've driven to work waving at "J" as he stands there with a hose in his hand watering his front yard.  Then, as I'm coming home, there he is... standing there watering again.

I roll down my window to tease him.  "You're in the same position I left you in this morning...standing there with a hose in your hand!"  

"Yeah, but it's evening now and I can do this with a beer."  As he raises his other hand in a beer-salute.

"J's" grass is super green, artificially so.  Mine?  Pale green with brown patches.

I hopped on the mower yesterday afternoon determined to "skelp" it.  You see, we leave it high during the Summer months because it handles the heat better that way.  Not that long ago, we had 2 weeks of nothing but rain and when the lawn finally dried out enough, it was like mowing hay.  On top of that, we got fleas.  (I haven't had fleas in 3 years.  CRAP!)  I blame the tall grass for that!

So I hopped on the mower and lowered the blades 2 clicks.  I took it slow, sneezing as the grass/dirt cloud enveloped me.  Then I went to buzz the front yard and the boys were all out tending their lawns.  You can't help but compare mine to theirs. 

"I'd like nothing better than to kill all of it."  I muttered to myself, eyeballing the existing front landscaped beds, wondering if there was anyway to tactfully enlarge the beds with more trees and shrubs in order to get rid of the grass.

We don't have an HOA (Thank God!) but social pressure exists none the less.  I live in a subdivision.  I can't change that fact.  The status quo must be maintained.  So for now, while I can let the grass and weeds do their natural thing (brown out and die), I still don't want to turn my front yard into something that would impact the resale value.

"How many times do I have to tell you, we're NOT moving!"  SM 

"Oh, we're moving alright.  Maybe not in the near future, but someday."  I reply

"Where to?" He asks, exasperated.

"Out in the country...Into an RV...Maybe a nursing home if you're not careful."  (Grin)


  1. What about using a groundcover like perrenial peanut? Our city has started using it along city streets and it is very low maintenance. If I had my way, I would replace all of our sod with it. But alas, unlike you, I have to deal with the HOA. You are very blessed!

  2. I just don't get it. The amount of water that is used just for lawn maintenance is staggering. But then again, we live in the country now so it doesn't really matter what our neighbors (the deer, raccoons) think. When we lived in the burbs, we were some of the few who didn't water or have a company come out to spray. We had dandilions and mallow and violets in our front yard and it must have driven the neighbors nuts.

  3. I really don't get the "Grass Thing". Whenever I see one of those lawns, the only thing that I think is "all those chemicals"!! The only grass we have left is in the front and it is very small. I don't and have never watered or fertilized my grass. I have to say that it is very green and healthy. We only have one neighbor, so far on our block that has a chemical company come in.

  4. Your grandpa used to say weeds are green. And his yard never had anything but weeds. He just kept it mowed.

  5. Oh that's funny - moving into a nursing home...

  6. You have a wicked sense of humor. Nursing home---I love it!

    I hate grass and am APPALLED at the amount of water WASTED on it. I'm glad I live in a place that gets no rain all summer and that blasted grass just DIES and doesn't need mowing for a few months. Our nutty neighbors water and fertilize and mow and mow and mow. What a waste.....all for a patch of green. Stupid.

  7. We don't live in a subdivision, but we still have neighbors across the street so I still feel like we at least need to make an attempt to not look like an eyesore. Still, pushing a lawn mower around the yard in order to knock off the weed flower heads seems like an exercise in futility.