Thursday, June 21, 2007

I've ranted before about the senselessness of planting, watering, fertilizing and harvesting a crop which cannot be eaten or used for anything, and which doesn't even provide much enjoyment- just work and a way to use up perfectly nice land and soil. I suppose I shouldn't complain, because mowing lawns is now my livelihood. However, I never realized how frightfully extravagant grass is until now. One yard I care for is pretty big...maybe an acre all told. There are trees and shrubs and flowerbeds and spigots that have to be maneuvered around. With a riding lawnmower, mowing the whole lawn takes me about 2 hours, maybe 3 (I like to do a nice job, and as I said, there is a lot of maneuvering). If it were a flat, square plot with no obstacles, of course it could be done in half an hour, probably. Weedwhacking the areas the mower can't get to takes another 2-3 hours at least, but this only has to be done once for every 3 times the lawn is mown (thank goodness!). I hate the weedwhacking because it endangers my eyes with flying objects (yes, I do wear eye protection). That lawn has to be mowed at least once a week! If it gets longer, then the walk behind mower is pulled out, because it has a bag and the riding mower doesn't. The grass clippings would kill the lawn (which doesn't sound like a half bad idea to me). Mowing this lawn manually takes me a very long time, especially since it requires constantly emptying the bag.

So- at about $40 a week, this is $160 a month, a pretty hefty price to pay for a patch of green lawn, in my opinion. For a summers worth of lawn mowing, you could buy rhododendrons and hydrangeas and fruit trees and daylilies and all manner of wonderful things, plus bark mulch and landscape cloth so they wouldn't need much weeding and grass wouldn't grow. After a few summers like that, you could have quite the showcase, while your neighbors would continue to have the same, ordinary, boring, and ex$pen$ive lawn that everyone else has. I haven't figured in the costs of planting the lawn of herbicies or fertilizer, either...

The yard could have a monoculture of grass that is useful mainly for earthworms and small insects (which are fastidiously sprayed against)and only seasonally attractive, or it could have a variety of plants to provide interest throughout the year as well as providing food and shelter and habitat for birds, butterflies, wildlife, and of course, humans.

I don't understand it.

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