My Own Grassy Knoll (Or Thoughts on Being a Homeowner Responsible for Making His Yard Not Look Like Crap)

Let me begin with the troubling news that my blogging moniker - Slammy - is shared by the awards ceremony for WWE wrestling. That hurts.

On to the matter at hand.

You can see my house from space. No, really, you can.

See it? No? It's really easy to spot. Look harder.

Still nothing? Man, did you ever find Waldo or Carmen Sandiego? Here, let me help - it's the one with the lawn that's a crap-ton browner than the others in the neighborhood.

It's the one in the middle

There, now you see it, don't you?

Yup, that's what our lawn looked like last spring (2011). The dirt-to-grass ratio was about 65-1, thanks to all the weeds that had crept in the years before. I take some of the blame myself for not trying to kill the weeds our first year in the home, but a lot of those weeds are from the previous tenants. I think they/he/she were/was in college, so lawn care probably wasn't their top priority. All the same, we inherited a lawn full of crabgrass and such, and come next spring, when a lawn company came to kill all but the grass, serious brownage ensued.

It was bad. You can see how bad above. Sadly, the best we could do for the first part of the year was deal with it. Lawn care was a breeze - once a month, I'd take a pair of scissors, trim the five or six blades growing near the front porch, and I'm done. But man, were we embarrassed of our lawn. It didn't help that there were several trophy-quality lawns up and down the street.

Artist's rendition of our neighbor's lawn

We decided we needed professional help, and after getting a slew of estimates, decided on Tru-Green. Their job was simple: make sure all the weeds were dead, then put enough grass seed down to blanket our property in a thick, luscious chlorophyll-fueled green carpet. My job was simple: make sure the seed gets enough water to feed the growth of said carpet.

That turned out to be a chore, not in its complexity or intensity but in its consumption of time. Thanks to a near-drought of an autumn, I was up for an hour or two each day after work watering and watering and watering. Each morning I'd turn on the rotary sprinklers and watch each one make a few rotations, making sure the right amount of water was getting to the right spots. Any area not in the line of fire got treatment by one of those "chain-of-sprinklers-connected-by-a-hose" deals, contributed by me own mum. In those cases, 5-10 minutes was enough to soak the area before I had to move them.

Like this, only less Photoshopped

It was tedious. It was time-consuming. And it was a big weight on my mind. We'd shelled out many pretty pennies for Tru-Green to work their magic, but their magic would only work if we worked our magic, the working of which we wouldn't know for months. I was always asking myself: did I water enough? Did I water too much? Will the seed survive all the sun and stupid Missouri heat? Is the lawn going to look even? Green enough? Pretty? Not like crap?

On top of that, I had moles all over the back yard. That's a different story. I've mentioned them before, I may do so again.

So, skip to this spring. What were the results of our great experiment? Judge for yourself:

I'd say job well done, grass. And Tru-Green. And me. And water. Finally, we have a lawn we can be proud of (for a better look at the various flora decorating our yard, I send you yonder to Tamara's blog).


Anonymous said…
that's my boy! Grandma Young is smiling up in heaven, too.
Beckie said…
I said it before, but it is amazing the transformation. You guys did good. Now comes the part where you need to keep up with it. Good luck!
Emily S. said…
ACK! A happy ending! You had me on pins a needles. And I laughed at your "neighbor's lawn".

Nice job, my man. NICE JOB.

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