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Grass Is Always Greener…

May 24, 2011

Today I’m going to talk about something different… Why?  Because there’s another project Dear Wife and I have been working on.  No, not the writing-related project I mentioned before.  This one has nothing to do with writing, but I’m proud of it so I’m going to share it anyway.

About a month and a half ago – maybe two months, I’m not sure – Dear Wife and I embarked on a quest to grow a more beautiful lawn.  Our front yard had turned into a hive of scum and villainy bed of weeds and grotesque grasses.  So we dropped a Roundup bomb, so to speak.  By which I mean, we killed everything on the lawn: grass, weeds, and all.  (We left the garden and trees intact, of course.  The garden we’d have to weed by hand.)

To our great embarrassment, the lawn sat fallow and barren for weeks: I was still working on projects at school and we were having trouble finding the time to finish the job.

The New Grass in my Yard

The first signs of green peaking through the layer of yellow straw in my yard.

Well, a couple weeks ago, now, we couldn’t stand it any more.  (And also, I’d finally finished classes.)  We needed to till the yard – to rip up all the old, dead grass and weeds and turn the soil.  We were hoping to borrow a tiller from a neighbor, but that fell through.  So we took the plunge: we went to Home Depot and rented  a tiller, and I spent a good hour and a half or so trying to steer that bucking bronco through my yard.  Let me tell you: if you’ve never tilled a yard before, it is backbreaking work.  I felt like I’d been hit by a truck for a week after.    After all that punishment, I managed to throw out my back the next day in the simple act of leaning down to get a bowl out of the cabinet (I was making pancakes!).  But regardless, when I was done with that tiller, I’d managed to turn up all the soil in a smallish front yard.

But we had to strike while the iron was hot, so to speak!  A few weeks earlier we’d bought a bag of decent quality grass seed, and years before we’d borrowed a seed/fertilizer spreader from Dear Wife’s parents.  I pulled that out and spread the grass seed.  Finally, I layed down a thin layer of straw to protect the seed.   Then Dear Wife and I began our two-week long campaign of daily watering.  And I’m happy to say, we’re seeing results, as the first shoots of grass are now peaking up through the soil and straw.  It is marvelous to behold.

I’m not really an “agricultural” kind of guy, if you know what I mean.  I’m a knowledge worker, not a physical laborer.  I’m not in the best physical shape ever, and working outside is physically tiring and causes my allergies to go into overdrive for an hour or two after finishing up (I always shower immediately after this kind of thing – not only because I feel dirty but because it seems to help clear up my allergies a little).  But there’s one thing I have to say for working in the yard or garden: it’s satisfying work.  At the end of a day like that, you really feel like you’ve accomplished something.  And for all the aching muscles and sneezing and itching eyes, it’s worth it to look out at your lawn and garden to feel that sense of pride, and have that knowledge that I did that

The new grass in my yard

The first tender shoots to rise above the recently-tilled earth.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. BT's Mama permalink
    May 24, 2011 9:07 am

    A few tidbits from the wife that Stephen failed to mention:
    * Stephen was kind enough to forgot to mention that I dreamed up this project while he was romping around Europe with his MBA class.
    * Prior to renting the fancy gas-powered tiller from Home Depot, we spent several hours trying to prep the ground with a rake, a shovel, and even a little manual tiller loaned to us by the neighbor. Those several hours resulted in a dissapointingly small amount of progress that led us to abandon the project for several weeks.
    * In addition to being delayed by the difficulty of disposing of our dead weeds and loosening the soil — our bag of grass seed waiting for us on the porch — along with a bunch of bulbs I intended to plant in the garden — were stolen from our porch one afternoon.
    * We’ve been faithfully watering our lawn one section at a time nearly every evening (of course it has barely rained since we planted a few weeks ago) and fear our next water bill.
    …that said, we are indeed thrilled to the grass growing and praying that we can keep it alive and keep the weeds away!

    • May 24, 2011 9:11 am

      All true. Though I’d forgotten that you’d dreamed this up while I was on the Istanbul/Athens trip. The theft of our first bag of grass seed and our bulbs was one of those surreal, hitchcockian moments… I’ll never understand why someone would steal grass seed and plant bulbs.

      • May 24, 2011 5:35 pm

        The “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” comes to mind. Beware strange thumping noises in the street… ~cue mad scientist cackle~

      • May 25, 2011 8:22 am

        …Sentient bulbs and bags of grass seed?

      • May 25, 2011 12:09 pm

        Well, the zombie goats experiment didn’t really work, so you know… it was worth a shot…

      • May 25, 2011 1:20 pm

        I suppose so. Sentient (and usually malevolent) vegetation has a long and treasured history in the annals of mad science.

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  1. Sometimes the Grass Isn’t Actually Greener… « The Undiscovered Author

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