Wednesday, May 24, 2006

turf war

there are two areas of lawn around our new (ish. 2 years in july) house. both are full of "broadleaf plants," the bane of lawnkeepers. we don't really go for lawn. we removed, bit by bit, all the lawn around the last house we owned and replaced it with flowers and trees. we will eventually do the same here. i have to assume that the previous owners controlled the "weeds" with selective poison, which won't kill grass, as the lawns were weed free and lushly absent of bare spots. we round up our weeds the old-fashioned way. physically. i don't care about the lawn, but it is semi-vigorous, low mental requirement warmup exercise to go at the broadleaf plants. we have enough projects going to cut into retirement time already, so the lawn replacement thing will wait a bit.
here is two days (15 minutes a day) of weed harvest. this might be about ten percent of the total dandelions and such growing in the lawn. my main tool is visible on the wheelbarrow. it is a forked metal prong on a wooden handle. i jab it under the perceived center of a weed crown, severing the root, and flip the plant up. doesn't work on the first try every time, but often enough to pile up a barrow full quickly enough.
this is an area of lawn about eight feet square. "weeds" are visible in the upper corners, where i haven't yet exercised. i have come to notice that mowing the grass facilitates the growth of broadleaf, low-crowned plants. mown grass never produces seed, and provides a nice place for dandelion seeds to germinate and take root. unmown grass, as i have observed off in the corners of the veggie garden, crowds out the broadleaf plants, and after seeding falls over to mulch itself. so the poison-free, weeding-free way to get a pure grass lawn is to not mow it.

all this lawn stuff reminds me of my first non-family paying jobs, when i was probably fifteen. mowing lawns. raking. weeding. suburban yard care after school. i don't recall seeking this work, as in knocking on doors, but i was eager, ok, willing, to work to get spending money, and urged on by my parents. neighbors and neighbors of neighbors always knew someone looking for lawn care. no one whose lawn i mowed had a power mower. i had barely heard of a power mower. leaf blowers hadn't yet been invented.

what was your first job?

A very silly update from Robin: I hadn't thought about this photo for years, but here is a picture of my siblings, neighbor kids and me from a newspaper dated August 10, 1961.
The caption reads-- ENTERPRISING YOUNGSTERS: These children raised $33, which was equally divided between the Fords Fire Co., and St. John's First Aid Squad, by conducting a three-day fair in the back yard of the "Z" home. In addition to games of skill with prizes for winners, they sold corn on the cob, watermelon, candy and drinks.
I am the one seated on the right. I'm wearing black pedal-pushers with a white fringe. My adorable little sister is sitting next to me. My twin brother is standing in the back row on the left, and my older brother is tall kid standing next to him.

No comments:

Post a Comment