Monday, August 11, 2008

Yard Care

I’m not a yard care guy. The fact is that I detest doing yard work. That’s no secret to anyone that has seen my yard. My yard is nowhere near the worst yard in the neighborhood. But it’s also nowhere near the best.

My yard is presentable, except for the dead Norwegian Maple in the front yard. I’m waiting until my son gets home from working at Scout camp to take it down. He says he wants to feel the testosterone pumping as he wields the chainsaw. Most of the weeds in my yard have been kept in check. The lawn is regularly mowed. But I can’t remember the last time it was edged.

There are lots of monocot weeds throughout our lawn, as well as some broadleaf junk. The broadleaf weeds are relatively easy to treat, but you’re supposed to wait until daytime highs are 85° or lower to put that stuff down. I’m not sure there’s a simple way to deal with grassy weeds in lawns.

There is something going on with my east side yard. The grass there was once lush and green. Now it is interspersed with dead spots. I put pesticide on it, but I’m not even sure it’s a pest problem. I can’t find grubs. The roots remain intact. My neighbor’s lawn is far worse. The problem in my yard is small enough that I haven’t gotten to where I care enough to actually figure out what is going on and how to treat it.

The ornamentals in our yard can best be described as eclectic and mostly self managed. Neither my wife nor I are completely happy with our yard situation, but neither of us really wants to do what is necessary to make it look nicer.

And I do know what a nicer yard looks like. I very much appreciate beautiful yards. When I go for bike rides, I often pass a home about a mile from my house that has a beautiful yard. It’s not gaudy. It’s just very well cared for and very tastefully done. But almost every time I ride by, the homeowner is out there working in his yard. He must get a lot of fulfillment from that kind of thing. I don’t.

Although I’m not much for mowing, we do manage to get that done on a regular basis. Nowadays I am usually able to get my yard mowed by my sons. I even pay them to do it. But they don’t do any better of a job than I do at general yard care. They are simply following the example that has been set for them.

I would like a beautiful yard. But not enough to actually do or pay someone else to do the work required to make that happen. As it is, the yard is a pleasant enough place for the kids to play. It meets our needs. I don’t see myself transforming into a yard care enthusiast anytime in the foreseeable future.

As far as gardening, I am not ignorant of my church’s counsel on that matter. But I hate doing it. Almost every foray into gardening over the past couple of decades has met with somewhere between lousy and dismal failure. This year my wife has successfully grown a few cherry tomatoes. This is probably because I have kept my fingers off the project.

When it comes to indoor plants, we have a consistent track record in killing them, despite our best efforts to follow appropriate light/water/nutrient guidelines. We seem to have the opposite of natural green thumbs.

Everyone has their own set of talents. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t work at those things where we have little talent. We might be surprised to find ourselves developing skills we assumed we’d never have. But I think I have enough experience with yard care and plant care to know that these will never be my strong suits in this lifetime.


Bekkieann said...

When my kids were young like yours, my yard was like yours. But at 60, I can't contain my enthusiasm for working in my yard. Your day will come.

As for the dying grass, you may have a fungus. It's attacking all over the valley. The symptom is those random yellow spots. I'm sorry, but this one may require assistance from one of those lawn companies.

Scott Hinrichs said...

Thanks for the advice. I do have some connections with real yard care people. If the problem gets severe enough, I will consult (and maybe even pay).