Crabgrass

I let my lawn almost die this summer. Or David did, I’ll blame him. His position: lawns are meant to be brown in summer. “But this brown?” I say to him. We have an 1860s loveseat that, when I went to reupholster it, turned out to be stuffed with barn straw. That’s how our grass looks: like straw from the 1860s – heck, like straw from the cradle of the Baby Jesus. Even our new Japanese Dogwood which the nursery said was as tough as shoe leather started to wilt this summer.

“Water it, fool!” they told me when I called for advice, and so I did and began watering the grass too, a project that shot riot-hose blasts of water right INTO my nasal passages every time I went to move the sprinklers. It’s those snaky hoses the sprinklers are attached to, which are not inanimate at all but twist and squirm and fight you like a wildcat – all before spraying you square in the face, like that lion did to Aunt Eleanor at the zoo that time.

The result of all this irrigating? Crabgrass, which I am simply thrilled about but which David hates. “It’s the one thing I can’t stand,” he said the other day, though we wouldn’t HAVE crabgrass if he wasn’t in the complete thrall of our eco-Nazi daughter Carrie who is Against All Chemicals and keeps us from laying down any of that nice Agent Orange that they sell. Because I say What’s wrong with crabgrass? It’s tough, it’s nice and  green, and I happen to KNOW that Texans pay serious money to have their lawns seeded with something exactly like it.

It’s a puzzler. And another way of saying that a column on this same subject (only without the jokes and the lion pee) is up on my “This Week’s Column” page –  until Labor Day weekend, anyway. After that it can be found orbiting the deep space of the Internet at one of any of 50 or 60 places like this one, now and forever Per Omnia Saecula Saeculorum.

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11 thoughts on “Crabgrass

  1. I think lawns should just be left alone and never mowed. Way to much work just to please the neighbors (yes I do mow mine or I’d have many hissy fits around here). Though the yard and house should be neat. Why I don’t believe “lawns” really came into existence until the 1950’s??, when everyone was buying ranch houses in the “burbs”. I say make veggie gardens and flower gardens to water and stop wasting our time and water on lawns;-), but that’s just me. Oh crabgrass is beautiful.

  2. Don’t we all? No more lawn worries for me. They did let it die here at the condo but at the apartment the plentiful trees seemed to keep the soft, delicate grass in back somewhat green. Of course everything’s green over the septic tank!! Didn’t Erma Bombeck have something to say about that?

    Long time, Dan. How is your son and the animals around your house (not meaning to lump them all in one like that.) My son got engaged in March and is inheriting a set of 13 year old twin boys with ADHD, very active in sports and doing well in school. I plan to join some of the activities offered at the senior housing, learn to play cribbage, join a book club, enjoy Scrabble after years of not playing, maybe learn Zumba and gentle yoga. Yeah,life is good. Hey, Dan, you know anyone who wants to buy a condo south of Boston? You should see it now, Terry, with so much of my stuff gone, donated to the thrift shop.

    1. Hi Andrea! Kid, dogs, cat and now turtle are all fine (another rescue). Glad things are going well for you!!! I don’t know anyone interested in a condo in the Boston area as all my friends are WMass people, but if I come across someone I’ll let you know.

      1. Dan, Sounds like all is well with you. Condo price was just dropped again as I expect to be moved into my new place within two weeks and really don’t like the idea of this townhouse sitting empty although my neighbors will keep an eye out for it. Finally going to experience having a large plasma TV and back to nature things like feeding the birds, planting veggies and flowers, lots of walking outdoors and maybe adopting a rescue kitty. Book club group awaits, many fall festivals that I love are coming up and going to watch my son’s fiancee’s sons playing football on a town team. My condo can be seen under realtor.com on I believe it’s page 8 – price now $185,900; end unit, ready to go. There are 12 pictures on the site.
        Hope it’s going to be a great fall for you and your family.

  3. Mine is getting a little tall and scraggly, but at least it hasn’t turned brown YET. Probably mow it Thursday IF Earl is coming for a visit since it should grow well again after that. Crabgrass is better than no grass. Just like white hair would be better than my no hair. 🙂 Sounds like Andrea has a very positive plan.

  4. i’ve cursed that darn hose so many times this summer, twisting, kinking, getting stuck under the fence, over the fence, in the fence, tripping the kids, tripping me, sending me off to find a nice cold adult beverage to ease the pain. for the love of my flowers, screw the darn lawn.

  5. I recently heard a lecture from a wonderful man named Doug Tallamy, who asserts that our species is in love with short mowed grass because our ancestors often didn’t come out when they ventured into tall grasses. In his book, “Bringing Nature Home,” he suggests that if everyone in suburban America would turn over at least some part of their lawn to native species, we’d go a long way towards restoring ecological balance. This one’s for your Carrie :-).

  6. Let’s redefine beauty! Cute little signs in our yards that say, “I love the Mystic Lakes”? Our crabgrass has gone crazy, too, after a stretch on “organic” fertilizers. After walking the dog ’round the block, I notice we are not alone. All those lawn chemicals go straight into the lake, and then we raise money to bomb the lake with chemicals to kill the weeds that the lawn fertilizer run-off encouraged. There must be a better way. I just wish I shared your enthusiasm for the look of that narly grass….perhaps it will “grow” on me. Isn’t it funny that “green” lawns should be brown now and then?! We are about to replace the other dead landscaping in our yard, got any ideas?

  7. You know, Bernice, that’s true! Haven’t seen a one. One three year old pear tree rotted at the joint of a large branch and trunk and split off in two pieces. Stink bugs are invading my home again though not as bad as two years ago. How is your cat?

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