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I Fought For the Lawn and the Lawn Died

I’ve killed my lawn. It wasn’t premeditated; wasn’t something I meant to do, it just turned out that way.

I’ve tried for almost a year now to breathe life into that barren patch of land that once gave my family a lush, velvety green platform for bouncy houses, cartwheels, tumbling, tea parties and a guinea pig exercise area. I fertilized no more than every six weeks. I watered the fertilizer in. I watered the lawn twice a day; once in the morning and once in the heat of the afternoon (which apparently is when Bermuda grass prefers its refreshment). I mowed, taking just a little off the top as instructed by the Consumer Reports article on “Lawn Care 911.” I spread gypsum on it. “Come on, big guy. I know you have some green in you. Show Mommy your big green coat! Mommy loves you! Do it for Mommy,” I pleaded in my most pleasant sing-song Mommy voice almost every day.

But it was all for naught. As one of my so-called Facebook “friends” quipped when I posted my status as having unwittingly committed lawntricide, “You blade killer!” Another “friend” taunted, “When Tracie goes into a nursery, all the plants start screaming.” Thanks guys. I appreciate your help and support during my time of mourning.

They are right to some extent I suppose. Although I have been able to maintain most of my landscape nicely, even plant new flora and fauna and watch it flourish and grow, the lawn is my Achilles’ heel.

“It’s virtually impossible to kill Bermuda grass,” many a home garden center employee has told me when I’ve gone in begging for help.

“Oh really,” I say, rolling back and forth on my heels, showing them a picture of my terminal turf.

“Wow, that is some pretty sorry looking sod!” one sharp-eyed employee noted. “Here’s what you need to do…”

Well I did that and more. And my grass is still mostly brown. I say mostly because there are patches of green, but these are weeds and apparently must be destroyed. These few weeds are signs of life but I’m told I should spray them until they look like the brown patches of desolation appearing on the rest of my lawn.

Maybe life with the Grimes family just got to be too much for my turf. Lord knows there are times when I want to sink into the ground and not come up again until the kids are in their 30s. Maybe it just wants to rest peacefully without having to put on a show of lush greenery for a couple of seasons.

Maybe. But it’s far more likely that the problem lies with the head (and only) gardener: me (I keep telling my husband we need to fire our gardener)! Although I do come from strong farming stock it’s entirely possible that the gene enabling people to grow and maintain luxuriant lawns is not present in my DNA.

My Facebook “friends” may not have been too supportive but they did have one or two “helpful” suggestions: “Green spray paint,” suggested Teresa, “or indoor/outdoor carpet.”

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