Lawn Ninja — The Art of Being a Gardening Geek

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Those who know me know that one way to describe me is “Lazy and proud of it”. When I’m motivated to do something I go at it with a passion, but for me getting motivated is the hard part. And if physical labor is involved, the harder, after all I am an in-tee-lex-you-al type.

So when it comes to yard work I play as anti-geek as I can.

I grew up on a farm and probably part of my dislike for yard work comes from having been made to do it as a child. I’ve hoed more rows of tobacco, corn and beans than I care to remember. As a Kentucky farm boy, I spent days wandering the fields and forests of our farm. I can still today identify most deciduous tree types. I can recognize the difference between Kentucky 31 Tall Fescue and Kentucky Blue Grass.

The problem is I don’t care and don’t want to know because knowing means getting pulled into the world of the “Lawn Ninja”. The Lawn Ninja is a breed of suburban yard warriors who want immaculate lawns and sculptured gardens. They labor for hours on the weekends giving up sleep and net-surfing time to make sure their yards are manicured better than their neighbors. Its a “forget keeping up with the Jones, but beat them into submission” circumstance of one-up-man-ship.

In our neighborhood you aerate the yard in the fall, pushing a spiked unmanageable steamroller over the yard poking holes in the ground (and hoping it doesn’t clip your cable-modem line!). Then reseed for the fall after rounding up everything you don’t like in your yard. Of course, you can’t leave a single leaf on the ground.

This late winter comes and you’re having to cut back the shrubbery, in our case Pampas grass, butterfly bushes and crepe myrtles. Lay down some pre-emergent crabgrass killer and fertilizer and a whole lot of lime.

Spring comes and beyond mowing, its time for weed and feed, spring seeding and more crabgrass killer. Edging, trimming, planting new flowers and so on.

Growing up, I raked leaves and mowed the yard. We never reseeded. We never burned gallons of Round-up. I just don’t get why we need to put this much effort in to grow grass.

Why can’t I spend my Saturday’s trying to fix up old computers or write cool new computer programs or shoot photos of great looking models?

But alas, we are determined to actually have grass this year in our front yard, which means more I have to mow.

One Response to “Lawn Ninja — The Art of Being a Gardening Geek”

  1. Keli Whidden

    I am so with you on this one! There are much better things to do outside than worrying about keeping that carpet like quality to your lawn. In our neighbourhood, it is a bet that at least half a dozen homeowners will completely rip our their lawn in order to start all over again every season…crazy. I am leaning toward clover, let’s see what the neighbours say ;)

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