Living Retired #202- July 3, 2017
8 STEPS TO WASTING YOUR TIME TRYING TO GROW GRASS
It’s a fact.
Middle age men can grow enough ear hair to attract a flock of red-breasted meadowlarks to build a nest in our auditory canal.
But ask us to grow grass in the backyard, well, that’s a different matter all together.
Men appreciate a lush expanse of red fescue, perennial ryegrass, bluegrass, Bermuda grass, or even bent grass– if it’s on a golf course. But trying to grow grass at home is impossible. It’s like telling Trump that he can’t use Twitter.
Women, on the other hand, figure it can’t be too much to ask for the front lawn to look like the photoshopped pictures you see on fertilizer bags.
“Dear, are you going to do something about this terrible looking lawn this year? I don’t want the neighbours to read about us on the front cover of Godawful Gardener!”
So, here are my ‘8 Steps To Wasting Your Time Trying To Grow Grass.’ This plan comes with a conditional, ironclad 3-part guarantee: 1) Your lawn may look ‘somewhat greenish’, 2) Your wife may be ‘somewhat pleased’, and 3) The neighbourhood dogs will still poop on your lawn. What more can you ask!
Step 1: Tools.
Before beginning to waste your time trying to grow grass you need to have the proper tools. All that’s needed to get started are a lightweight wheelbarrow that will collapse to the ground when you toss a bag of dirt into it, a garden hose that leaks, and a hoe– preferably lightweight so you can throw it farther in a fit of anger when you accidentally step on it! Don’t bother spending much money though- because garden tools are like a salad spinner: you’ll only use them once.
Step 2: Preparing the soil.
According to Master Gardeners– people who figure it’s too damn much work to actually garden, so instead they write about it each week in the newspaper– good soil equals good grass. That’s a load of sheep manure! Turning the soil with a spade is hard work which can lead to back problems– and retirees don’t have jobs with benefits so we have no reason to develop mysterious back problems to get a month off!
Step 3: Spreading grass seed.
You have a couple of choices here. You can use one of those 2-wheel spreaders that you walk behind– which ensure that 90% of the grass seed immediately falls right through in a big mound on the ground. Or, you can use what the professionals use: a small handheld device officially called a ‘whirlybird thingy’. You’ll get the same outcome with whatever you use: most of the grass seed ends up in your wife’s flower beds.
Step 4: First Rule of Gardening.
Oh, did I mention that there is ‘grass that will definitely grow’ and ‘grass that hasn’t got a snowball’s chance in hell of growing?’ The grass that ‘hasn’t got a snowball’s chance in hell of growing’ is the grass you spread throughout your yard and fertilize and water regularly. The ‘grass that will definitely grow’ is the grass seed that spills over into your wife’s flower beds. Just saying…
Step 5: When to fertilize.
There’s nothing tricky about deciding when to fertilize– don’t! I discovered this myself by purchasing fertilizer in large plastic bags designed by advertising agencies who employ professional photographers who employ graphic artists who have expensive computer programs that produce award winning photographs of lawns that don’t exist! If you insist on buying fertilizer just cut the pretty pictures off the bags and arrange them on your lawn!
Step 6: When to water.
There’s nothing tricky about deciding when to water– don’t! The first few times you water, the grass seed will be carried away by small streams and collect at the lowest point on your property. A month later you will be the proud owner of a vast barren desert-like yard– except for a 2′ patch of green rain forest in a gully.
Step 7: When to apply weed killer.
In one word: overnight! You don’t want to be caught by the lawn police for trying to control the weeds in your lawn. You see, municipalities figure homeowners shouldn’t apply toxic chemicals on our lawn. Instead they give permission for golf courses– where we walk through chemically treated grass for 3-hours, 2 or 3 times a week all summer long.
Step 8: When to finally admit to your wife that you know squat about growing grass. Take it from me… your wife will be the one to tell you that you’re a gardening moron! This will happen a month after you planted the grass seed: your backyard is a forlorn field of dirt clumps interspersed with frail looking blades of grass sticking up; and your hoe is impaled in the cedar fence after you hurled it when you tripped and whacked yourself in the head. Your wife’s exact words will be: “I don’t know why I put up with this!”
The ‘8 Steps To Wasting Your Time Trying To Grow Grass’ comes with instructions– which of course men don’t read– that say when it comes to planting grass seed if you get over-excited about over-seeding, you will become over-stressed over nothing! So don’t over-do it!
Gary Chalk a retired Canadian baby boomer is a member of Humor Writers of America. Each week 3,000 people across North America read Living Retired. To unsubscribe or to book Gary’s keynote address ‘I Don’t Have Wrinkles, I Have Laugh Lines’ visit http://LivingRetired.press