Yard Work

Last night after work, Husband and I finally got our cabbage and cantaloupe plants into the home and church gardens. It has been a weird, late, planting season. I hope it isn’t too late for them. The replacement tomato and pepper plants go in tonight. We have to work quick, as our puppy has learned to scale his outdoor play pen walls, and we can’t have him outside with us in the front yard anymore. He howls if he leave him safely in the back yard. He just wants to be with us, but, being a terrier, he might dash across the street to get some prey, and we need to keep him safe.

One reason we have a vegetable garden in the front yard is so we don’t have to mow the lawn. Husband got a reel mower last year, but decided a cordless electric one would work better, and he got that last week. He still has this odd sense of pride about a neatly manicured lawn (although we have very little lawn to manicure). I am Dutch enough to pull every weed I see, but I don’t feel too overburdened with them.

I was saddened to hear that ND Senator Cramer is convalescing at home after a serious accident while he was doing yard work. I don’t agree with his politics, but any Senator who does his own yard work and gets his hand crushed by a boulder while moving it has my sympathy. He may need fingers on his right hand amputated.

I would like to see the neatly manicured lawn go the way of the Dodo’s. I detest the chemicals and water that are wasted on them. What grass we have looks awful, but people see our vegetables and flowers, not the turf.

What do you think is a good alternative to a lawn? What are your favorite and least favorite yard tasks?

25 thoughts on “Yard Work”

    1. I would argue that having dandelions doesn’t mean you have compacted soil. It just means you have soil.

      They grow everywhere. I’ve pulled dandelions out of soil that is so loose and sandy that I didn’t need a digger to remove the entire root intact.

      Liked by 4 people

  1. We’ve covered this ground before. The last time I quoted Michael Pollan “A lawn is nature under authoritarian control” and added that by the measure mine is very democratic. I should have said anarchic. The last two years I have been seeding our yard with clover and it’s doing admirably against the creeping charlie. Both are green, so I’m satisfied.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I mentioned my boulevard is now mostly taken up with perennials – echinacea, coreopsis, black-eyed Susan, butterfly weed (first time I haven’t accidentally weeded it out), Evening primrose, and a couple of things thought of as weeds – Eur. bellflower and daisies. Then there’s a section of raspberries where the ground is mostly clover… and the side yard in veggie garden.

    I actually love weeding if I have time, the soil is moist and yielding, and it’s cool enough. : ) Least favorite would be watering…

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Since we rent, yards are not much of a concern for us. Our landpersons have never taken care of the yard beyond mowing, so it’s a mix of grass, wild violets, and creeping charlie. If it was ours we’d plant the whole front as a bee and butterfly garden and I’d grow veg and herbs in the back. I miss gardening, though when the weather is in the 90s I’m very glad I don’t have to be outside watering and weeding.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. I like trimming the lilacs in the back yard so they don’t hang over the hydrangeas and ligularias I planted way too close. I use an electric trimmer. It is like giving a haircut.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. The raspberries have jumped a section of lawn and moved into the rhubarb bed. I usually pull them, but I decided to leave them, as they are just trying to escape the tyrannical shade cast by our neighbor’s huge and poorly maintained ash tree.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. But once you allow the jump, they’ll keep jumping. I’m trying to move mine to a wonderfully sunny, ready for new planting bed in my back yard, away from the house, where they’ve been for a few years. I dug, and dug, and dug. Then transplanted some, but thought I’d been thorough in clearing the original site. Nope. Now they’re coming up outside of the original bed. Lots and lots of them. So, come fall, I’ll be digging again.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love landscapes done with natives. I think there are two ways this can be achieved. You can start by just mowing a lot less and see what comes up. You can encourage the plants you want by allowing them to grow and spread. I did this with some Solomon’s seal at my Waterville house. It wasn’t long before I had it in several places in my yard. It’s a beautiful, graceful plant. I also collected seed from other native plants and placed it strategically. I got a nice clump of Jack-in-the-pulpit that way.

    Alternatively, you could make a plan to landscape a specific area. It can be like painting a picture with landscaping. A large rock or a beautiful tree or shrub or a water feature can be a focal point and suitable plants can be placed around it. I love shade gardens with rocks, native plants, and a nice large shady white pine or an oak. One small native tree that I think works really well in a landscape is a pagoda dogwood. They’re so graceful and easy to transplant.

    I learned that my back pain is due to degenerative disk disease. I was having more and more trouble with tasks that require a lot of bending. It has gotten to the point where I just can’t do that anymore. I had to have physical therapy this spring and I try to do my exercises every day. But some of the gardening I once did is really impossible now.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    We are experimenting with a Bee LawnMix developed here in MN by the U of MN Bee Lab at the Arboretum. It contains red fescue, intrigue chewing fescue, gladiator fescue, blue mesa sheep fescue, white Dutch clover, creeping thyme, and self-heal. This replaces traditional turf. When mowing it, you mow less often and at a higher level than turf. We had already allowed most of the back yard to transition to clover and these seeds will add to the clover that promotes polllinators. It is meant to be both non-toxic to bees, and to feed them. All the stuff that the “Lawn Care” companies use when spraying is meant to kill the stuff in the mix. Somewhere, somehow, somebody decided what a “good lawn” should look like and developed the herbicides that kill the plants in the lawn that are good for bees. This product reverses that.

    If you want to try this it is manufactured and marketed by Twin City Seed Company, Edina. Google that to find the product. (I have no financial interest in this, I just like pollinators.)

    Liked by 8 people

    1. I cut about half the lawn today. The front, back, and side yard. Across from the house, below the crib, the swamp, across the road, and by the shed I did last week.
      There are a few patches of milk weed we leave. Around here anything not mowed turns into thistles or wild parsnip.
      We like the wild flower mix that the CRP is planted too.
      I’ve seen yards let go native. I’ve seen one with green carpet laid over the whole things. Another was covered in paving stones and painted green.
      Another was just weeds and the guy claimed it was native. May be, but they’re still officially noxious weeds. The neighbors complained. The townboard had to get involved. Eventually he mowed it off. P

      Liked by 3 people

  8. Well I didn’t answer earlier because you guys already know my answer. Flowers instead of Lawn. I’ve pretty much gotten to my goal after 25 years. There is almost no grass in the front anymore and what there is only gets cut occasionally and it only takes about two minutes.

    Liked by 3 people

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