Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The mystery of mowing

OK, I'll just come right out and say it up front: I enjoy mowing my lawn.

Once a week I'll gas up the ol' lawnmower and, usually in the heat of the afternoon, give my yard a trim. It's generally not a big project, either. I have a small front yard and a mid-sized (I guess) back yard that together take less than 45 minutes to mow with a push mower. So it's a good way to get me outside, get some exercise and make me feel like I accomplished something worthwhile.

I try hard to keep my yard presentable. When we bought our house about eight years ago, the previous owners had a dog they kept in the back yard. Consequently, there were some patchy areas where grass did not exist. The front yard also had some issues, particularly between our two maple trees, which fostered another grassless area, no doubt because of all that shade.

Somehow, over the years, I've been reasonably successful in getting grass to grow in these previously balder-than-my-head spots.

Which presents me with a pair of why-is-the-sky-blue dilemmas for which I have no answers:

• How is is that grass often grows in areas where I don't need it to grow, but there are some areas where it simply refuses to grow where I need it most? A case in point is my driveway, or even better, my sidewalk. Grass seems to flourish in the cracks of my sidewalk. How is this possible? Concrete? C'mon. I feel ridiculous running my power mower over my sidewalk, but hey, what are my choices?

And yet, there is a patch in my back yard, near the wisteria, that apparently repels grass. Unless it's bermuda grass (this is another issue entirely). I didn't know grass could be so selective in its nourishment policy.

I've had the soil tested, I've limed, I've fertilized, I've watered, I've overseeded, I've underseeded, I've Patch-mastered and I've coaxed on bended knee. About the only thing I haven't tried in the bald areas is Rogaine. Hmm. Rebel Yell Rogaine. Hmm.

• Another absurdity hit me last week as I hurried to finish mowing so that I could water the lawn.


I needed to water the lawn because of the grass seed that I had spread a week or so earlier. The young seedlings were taking hold (in some areas) and I wanted to make sure they had a decent chance at survival. So, I watered the lawn the moment I finished cutting it. Yikes. I hope nobody was looking.

But then, I've been know to have my sprinklers on when a thunderstorm comes through. Maybe it's not the lawn after all. Maybe it's me.

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