Friday night topic: Lawn care

— 9:09 PM on September 15, 2006

Ok, uh, I'm knee deep in this stuff and don't have much else on the brain, so this is what you get. Surely some of you are old farts like me who live in suburbia and have the privilege of taking care of a lawn. I spent the better part of the day today scalping our entire yard down to 1" in height—essentially as low as possible—in preparation for aeration, verticutting, and seeding tomorrow. Nine bags of grass clippings and a monster allergy reaction later, the job is done.

Our lawn needs this treatment because here in Missouri, the weather extremes (100°F and dry in the heat of summer, 0°F and 6" of snow in winter) tend to kill many common grass varieties like bluegrass. Much of the grass in our yard has croaked after long dry periods in the past few summers, and what remains in those areas is a tough layer of thatch—mostly dead grass and roots—that prevents new grass from growing.

So the plan is to essentially till up the most of the topsoil and thatch, plant a blend of native fescue grasses that's not quite so pretty but is better suited for this climate, and grow a new lawn.

I think if I lived in Oklahoma, I could plant bermuda grass and everything would just work.

But perhaps that climate presents its own challenges? I dunno. What do you all have to do to keep a lawn looking reasonably presentable where you live? Any tricks or tips, or regional uniqueness to what you do? Is your philosophy to do the least possible work to avoid nasty looks from the neighbors, or do you enjoy taking care of your lawn? Discuss.

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