A blog about a first-time house owner learning to maintain his backyard, and thoughts about nature, science, history, and life.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Grass or weeds?

One of the bigger challenges that I face as a first-time house-owner is that I have no idea what I’m doing, in the garden or in the yard.  I guess it’s probably a good thing that I can admit that.

My grandfather, on the other hand, has decades of experience in gardening and managing a yard, and his yard and garden have always looked immaculate, so when he offers advice, I listen.  I was talking with him on the phone last week, and I mentioned all of the weeds in my lawn.  He suggested that I spray the weeds with Weed-B-Gon.  I explained that I don’t want to use any pesticide on the lawn. He replied that a little Weed-B-Gon really wouldn’t have a noticeable impact on the groundwater, which is true.  But at the same time, there are an awful lot of weedy plants in the lawn, especially the lower part of the lawn near the wildflower patch, which is mostly short, stubby weeds and very little grass.   It would take quite a bit of Weed-B-Gon to zap all of those weeds.  If I want to clear out those weeds, I think the easiest approach would be to pull or dig them up myself.

But first, I have to ask myself if it’s even worth replacing the weeds with grass.  The lower part of the yard is quite shady, so grass may not grow well there.  It’s also a matter of convenience.  In my couple of months of mowing the lawn so far, I haven’t necessarily had to mow the lower third of the yard every time; the short, stubby weeds simply don’t grow as fast as grass.  It’s an area that’s not really conducive to lawn games (like my bocce ball set), and the weeds don’t get in the way any more than grass does.  So, long story short, I’m not going to worry about the short, stubby weeds in the lower third of my lawn for now.  After all, I have a garden to build.

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