Friday, August 2, 2013
I can't mow my lawn
It might not come as a surprise to my readers that I'm not the type of homeowner who “needs” a perfect lawn. Very little of my property is lawn. It can all be mowed with an electric mower on a 100 ft. cord.
Mowing the lawn is not a big job, but I've been unwilling to do it. For the last few days, the lawn has been carpeted with honey bees.
There was very little actual grass when I bought the property. To make matters worse, I had some parking spaces excavated across the street from the house. Rather than pay for a truck to haul the gravel away, I had it dumped in my yard to raise it up and extend it a bit.
The bigger rocks got raked out of the dirt that was almost totally devoid of organic matter. I went to the hardware store and picked up about 5 different types of grass seed and two different types of clover. I raked in all the seeds. The idea was that something would probably take hold and keep the dirt from washing down the hill.
Just about everything took, at least in one niche or the other in the yard. Over the years, it even began to look like a lawn. It's not a suburban picture perfect lawn, but a lawn where the kids and dogs can roll around.
The lawn also has what would be called weeds in a more civilized setting. My feeling is that anything that can make a living in my poor soils is welcome to stay. Actually, the soil is not nearly as poor as it used to be. Earthworms live in it now, so that's saying something.
This year the clover is doing especially well, along with small unidentified wild flowers. The bees love them both. I haven't seen this many bees on a lawn since I was kid. What harm can come of letting the lawn get a bit wilder for a few more days?
Of course, even in normal years, I let my lawn get pretty tall now and then. It's good for the grass as it gets a chance to set roots deeper in the soil. No fertilizer or pesticide has ever been used. During dry years my neighbors can't understand why their lawns die and mine stays green and thrives. Their lawns, always cut short and fertilized, never developed deep roots.
On sunny mornings my lovely wife and I set up our outdoor table and chairs in the tall grass. We sip our coffee while watching the bees do their thing. It will get mowed soon enough.