Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Great Expectations: Lawns that much are expected of.

ob·ses·sion : a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling.
Now, I don't consider myself an obsessive person, though others might. Sure, I like a clean house. Is it so wrong to make the bed each morning? Put away laundry while it's still warm? There's nothing wrong with a bit of concentrated effort now and then, I say.

And then there is what happens to humans who take on the task of "caring for the lawn". It starts with a little watering, some mowing here and there, and the occasional pulling of crabgrass. You don't care...it's just a lawn, right?

and then, it happens.

You are driving along the suburbs and begin to notice other people's lawns. You know...the GREEN ones. The ones with PERFECT LINES. The ones so LUSH and GREEN that you begin to feel a stirring of something way down deep. Something known as:


This state of mind can only be altered after you have transformed YOUR lawn into the LUSH, GREEN, PERFECT ONE. The lawn people drive by and stare at enviously. It's sad, I know.

So, please don't judge me as I take you on my very personal journey. The journey began with me locating the following "miracle lawn products":
These two products GUARANTEED ME that I would see lush, green, strong blades of grass take over the pathetic bald patches and weed infested sections. I mean, what product sold on TV and in pharmacy garden aisles would lie??

and so I began the great experiment:

My excitement knew no bounds...I mean, look at the claims! GROWS ANYWHERE! FASTER! SEE HOW EASY IT IS! I couldn't wait for the 24-48 hours to pass to check on my first "crop":

WELL...needless to say...this is what I saw after TWO LONG WEEKS:

Experiment Section A: the Patch Perfect seeds (AKA "crack" grass):
Experiment Section B: The EZ seed (aka "crack" grass):
I tried to keep it together. I realized I had many, many situations working against me:
Huge old tree shading much of the lawn:
Gophers from hell:
a sample of the damage the gopher from hell was causing:
Please note how the gopher manages to tunnel RIGHT THROUGH the fresh seed area:
Disrespectful peeing birds:
skunks who loved nothing better than to find the BEST AREA of the lawn to scrape for grubs:
and of course, everyone's favorite midnight bandit:Knowing what I was up against, I set up Killer Diller as "Garden Warden":
I'll spare you the photos of the various gophers, mice, and moles that Killer Diller executed for crimes against the lawn.

And then I watered, and watered, and watered:
and a little while later...pathetic results began to surface:

The "patch perfect" grass never really took off - this is after 6 weeks!Even the birds were disappointed:

even the Garden Warden seemed a bit pissy about it:SOME areas did very well though, and the baby birds of the season were appreciative:
After 3 long months of watering, weeding, flashlight raids on marauding raccoons and skunks, having countless executed gophers and moles delivered to me and a bit of cursing thrown in for good measure...
The lawn began to respond!
My lawn envy has calmed a bit, and I no longer wish lawn disease, moles and crabgrass on innocent neighboring lawns. As much.I will add here that the lawn was NOT responding to Patch Perfect or EZ Grow. Oh no, those areas are still rather sparse. Twas water, sun and weeding that brought the life back to it. I want my $30 back, dang it!


Anonymous said...

Good job Helen! it was worth the wait. Did you call the 800 number on the back of the containers of "miracle grow"?

mom said...

now you know what your dad has been trying all these years....nothing works in some areas!!! except it!!! lol I think your lawn looks great!

justmesays said...

sure, it looks good after 3 months of concentrated effort! and there are still bald areas. When and if I ever get my own yard...it's rocks and cactus!