Monday, September 15, 2008

The Lawn has two daughters: "Give," "Give."

Lawn care is really a pain. The more energy (and time and money) you devote to making your lawn fertile and lush, the more energy you must devote to keeping it cut short. Also paradoxially, the people with the nicest lawns never seem to spend any time outside playing in them.

I have heard that people in the Southwest where water is scarse have lawns that are just rocks and dirt, but they are painted green. That sounds pretty weird, but at least it wouldn't be so much of a hassle. Or maybe you'd have to repaint it all the time?

I don't really know anything about how you're supposed to take care of a lawn, and our yard shows it. Our small backyard is also a playground, and it is getting worn bare down the middle.

I was told that what I should do was aerate the lawn, and then put down seed and fertilizer. So, on Saturday we rented a lawn aerator. This is a neat tool. It has a rotating bar on the back on which are mounted four disks of tubular spikes that dig into the ground. Each spike digs a hole in the ground that is about 1/2" diameter and maybe three inches deep. The "core samples" are continually getting expelled over the yard as you run the machine. (They look like little doggie doos.)

On my first lap around the yard, I had the machine at full throttle, and it was too fast for me. The scene was so hilarious that Rebekah grabbed the camera to catch it on video. The poor resolution of the video doesn't seem to capture my panicked state... or maybe I was figuring out how to handle it a little by then:

It was very hard to control. With a lawnmower, you push down on the handle and raise the front wheels to enable steering. But this thing had all those spikes in the ground on the back end, so raising the front didn't help to steer it much at all. You really had to raise the back of the unit to maneuver it. And that was heavy and awkward.

After I stopped the machine, I figured out that it had a throttle, so I backed it off to about half speed. I finished the job, but it was still pretty tough going.

Then I spread the fertilizer and grass seed.

Then we got hit with the remnants of Hurricane Ike, and most of my grass seed and fertilizer inthe back yard got washed away... at least that's what it seems.

-- Brian

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