Lawns are Over-rated

While it’s finally started cool down here, I’m still struggling with the lawn.

I’ve never thought lawns were all that great.  I like flowerbeds and vegetable gardens.  Grass in large quantities is useless to me.  In Texas, it was all mostly St. Augustine or Bermuda in the yards.  St. Augustine is all-right–cool and fairly comfy to lay on, but it tends to get baked to a crisp in the heat.  Bermuda was always too itchy to be comfortable to me.  And at any rate the prevalence of fire-ants made rolling on the lawn ill-advised.

And even here outside Texas where grass is actually really soft and fire ants have yet to invade, it still brings trouble.  Mowing lawns?  Sucks.  It’s work.  Boring, long work that is detrimental both to one’s hearing and to the environment through the ick of small engine exhaust, herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers.  Not to mention the tremendous waste of water to keep the shit green through the heat of a dry summer.

I spent 3 hours today rating thatch (un-decomposed dead grass clippings that form a layer on and around growing grass), hoping to revive some of the dead patches in the yard from the dry summer.  I didn’t water much over the summer because it just seems so wasteful.  The result is the less-than-attractive beige swaths through the yard.  so I as I raked at the dead stuff and developed two blisters (which I didn’t notice until they burst–OUCH), I kicked myself for not spending more time and money earlier to keep this stuff alive and green.  I slammed the rake in a little too deep and  drug up a chunk of the clay filled dirt below.

And in that moment, I realized those brown patches weren’t my fault after all.

In that one chunk I spotted no less than 5 grub worms.  Fat, wriggling white little bastards.  Disgusting and slow from having gorged themselves on the roots of the grass.  I felt murderous and decided to use the tip of the rake to end their mega feast.  I would describe the way they burst, but I think that’s graphic enough.  Several stabs of the rake in other areas of the lawn revealed a similar problem.  I can’t possibly dig up and burst every grub-worm in the whole yard.  A pesticide is the only answer and I prefer to avoid those.

So now, as I contemplate which pesticide to use and the manner of application, I’m once again reminded that lawns are just stupidly over-rated.

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