Friday, June 18, 2010

Lawn care

My idea of lawn care will get you kicked out of the suburbs . . . so it's a good thing!

I've about 2 acres of land, of which about 50' by 50' is grass. That's plenty. There's enough grass for little kids to run around on. It's bordered by a small garden, wild blackberry plants, wild raspberries, some filbert trees just started to produce and assorted flowers, about half wild.

As for the grass itself . . . well, let me tell you what my dad used to say about lawns: if it's green, it's grass. Well, it's mostly green. There's an awful lot of clover and dandelions in the mix, along with plantain and other assorted weeds. Rabbits would rather feed on my lawn than in my garden. I know, I've watched them do it.

For ten years I used a reel lawn mower. It was one of those old fashioned ones that don't use gas, all you have to do is push it. They cost about $150. I kept it lubricated and the blades sharp. Ten years of use totally wore out the gears. In a fit of weakness, I replaced it with a corded electric lawn mower from Black and Decker.

The electric lawn mower is really good when the grass gets high, which it does fairly often. It's not just because I'm lazy, which I am. It's actually good for the lawn. Letting it get long gives the roots a chance to go deeper in the soil, making it more drought resistant. During drought years my crappy little lawn holds up better than my neighbor's manicured carpets. Mine will stay green long after theirs turns to brown dust, in spite of their watering.

Just as well too, as I don't water the lawn. No fertilizers or pesticides either. That way I can eat some of those lawn weeds myself.

Some people say my lifestyle takes a lot of time. It's true that doing things like heating with wood can be time consuming, but I make some of that time up when it comes to lawn care.


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