Richard Crowson: The Annual Struggle Of Fall Yardwork
Every Fall, I pretend to be something that I’m not. Way before the Halloween costume season, I start wearing my mask. I disguise myself as someone who gives a flying whoop-ti-doo about their lawn.
Dutifully, I put on the regulation home-owner’s weekend hardware store uniform—a baseball cap, jeans and a flannel shirt. Looking exactly like one of those Eddie Bauer-esque suburban dads who actually know what they’re doing when it comes to yard issues, I trek to the gardening department, buy the bags of of Scott’s miracle autumnizing, winterizing, turf-compounding lawn kick-starter, along with a 25-pound bag of supplemental specially enhanced infant grass formula fertilizer, of which I use maybe a third of each bag, the remainder of which I put in the backyard shed, much to the delight of the tiny rodents that live there.
I even carry the charade a step further by watering liberally. We have an impressive collection of assorted sprinklers which I distribute about the yard in a careful attempt to keep the good old Wichita clay soil as lubricated as possible. Thereby, I guarantee that it will continue to shift and cause movement of the foundation of our house.
I do all of this and still, year after year, my lawn looks pretty crummy. And what’s more, year after year, I guess I don’t really care. To me, a yard is for walking on. It’s for leave to flutter down on and rest a good, long time. It’s even for my dogs to, well, you know, do what dogs do on it. As long as during the summer months it has a slight green cast to it, I’m fine with it.
Still, deep down, I guess I feel guilty enough about it all to continue my yearly September over-seeding act. At least I grow something with all those half-filled bags of grass seed in my storage shed: a robust family of mice.