Joys of Home Ownership #437

Grass–as in lawns, not as in prarie grass or controlled substances–is one of the banes of the modern homeowner’s existence. Now that we no longer keep sheep (most of us, anyway) the stuff has no useful purpose. I suppose it’s handy if you have kids, but I don’t. It consumes vast amounts of water and people dump tons of polluting chemicals, herbicides, and pesticides on their lawns every year in an attempt to perpetuate the anachronism. It’s a particularly stupid thing to have here in arid Colorado. Hence Tracie and I are converting chunks of the lawn into flower beds which require less water and maintenance.

Late last fall we chose the next chunk of lawn to remove, and thought it would be clever to kill it slowly during the winter. I had the clever idea of covering it with landscaping cloth to starve it from sunlight so that in the spring we could uncover it to find nicely dead grass. Unfortunately there was a flaw in my execution of this idea, as this photo shows:


(Click that to see a full-sized version.) The flaw was that the landscaping cloth we had on hand was not at all opaque. Light passes right through it–or at least enough light to keep grass cheerfully alive. As you can see, the area that we covered is much greener and healthier than the surrounding lawn, presumably because the cloth also helped to trap moisture. The only places it did die were under the boards we used to keep the cloth in place. Apparently the lesson is that I should cover the entire lawn with landscaping cloth every fall.

So, we dug up the nice, healthy grass anyway. It took most of a day to do so. That’s another odd thing about grass: ever notice how it has a remarkable ability to grow where you don’t want it, and not grow where you do want it?

By adam

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