Wednesday, September 23, 2009

We suck less all the time

We got to play with a new yard toy this weekend and, while it looked like a pain in the ass (Bubba wrestled with it while I performed other equally important tasks, uh huh), it sure did get the job done.

And the job was? (Said like on Family Feud when they go, "Survey says!...")

Ripping out the lawns.

Because I think lawns are mostly stupid and have spent the last four years in this house slowly whittling away at Bubba's Midwestern affection for The Ultimate Lawn by quietly removing a bit here and there until TEE DAH they'll be gone and replaced with something that doesn't suck so much muthereffin water and time.

Not to mention who the hell wants to mow and trim all that grass? Not Jada, and she's the one who uses it the most, which would normally land her in the "If you want it, you take care of it" category, except she's a dog and without opposable thumbs, is going to have a hard time getting the mower pull-started.


She's actually the main reason we are even going to have grass left at all. Because she loves it so visibly and enthusiastically that, with the lawns currently missing, she's taken to rolling on our neighbors' lawns as we are out on our walks.

Here she is being a Lady in the middle of our soccer playing.

I know they think that she's going to pee on them (or take a massive dump - given the way their eyes bulge out from their living room windows) but all she does is nose dive into the grass, roll around a lot, sit up and pant appreciatively and move on to the next lawn.

No massive dumps in sight.

And I will not be made to feel bad for messing up somebody's carefully mowed criss-cross pattern because my dog rolled it away. Perhaps if she took a big steamer and then I didn't pick it up - OK - but messing up a mowed pattern in grass is no reason to yell.

Just saying.


Last weekend, after I put in my miles on the streets, Bubba and I put in our miles behind this beast of a sod cutter.

And really, by the looks of this video, you can see who was really putting in the cutting miles and it was not me. No, I am too puny and weak to tame this sod cutting beast of a hellhound, so Bubba was left to throw his 170 lbs against its awkward and bulky frame and wrestle it through our yards, cutting up rolls of dried out sod as it went.

My glamorous job (and really the only one I was physically able to do given my two hours on the road) was rolling up the sod after he cut it. Glamor! Aching hamstrings! Glamor some more!

Before: A lovely dog-friendly WATER SUCKING lawn.
After: An ugly ass soon-to-be-improved dirt hole.
I'm so glad we did this.

The plan is, now that the back lawn is out, to let Bubba take out all of his pent up rage on the lingering Bermuda grass and then maybe make something attractive grow in its place and for the enjoyment of the dog.

I'm leaving him to his madness as I have work to do in the front.

See, my first step in banishing the lawn came a few years ago when we cut the corners off the thing and planted some trees and those grassy shrubs you see there.

And I will admit those pumpkins, while cute, stayed out a tad too long until Bubba noticed they were out of season which might have been in February sometime.

Before: Something we had to mow and water all the time.
After: Something that has explaining to people that, Yes, we know that sod goes grass side up.

So, the next step in Bye Bye Sucker Lawn was to cut up the sod, till the soil beneath, flip the sod over and TEE DAH plant a low water meadow where the lawn used to be. Like a lumpy meadow with some bulbs and wildflowers like you might expect to find in a forest clearing or in front of a house inhabited by people who don't want to mow or water anymore but still want a pleasing front yard.

And in case you are confused by the photo and think that is the meadow of which I speak - don't worry, it's not. No, that comes next.

We'll cover it with landscape fabric and gorilla hair and then I'll summon all my hamstring strength (hamstrength? I don't know about that one.) and plant 100+ Blue Grama grass plugs out there to commence the growing of my future meadow.

And then you know what I'll do with the front yard? OH NOTHING THANK YOU SO MUCH.

That's right. It'll be on its very own to just grow and be and live without me or the sprinklers having to water it all that much because it will be fall and then winter when the rains come and by the time spring rolls around it'll be established and won't even need that first spring mowing WOW.

That's awesome.

And all this will be happening right next to my Also No Water Required sidewalk patch full of self-seeding $.99 wildflower landscaping.

I guess I'll just have to sit here and think about what we'll do with all the water and money and time we'll be saving since the front part of the house will be pretty independent of all those things.

Perhaps I need to put another vegetable bed in the garden?



  1. Love it all. Andy's need for a patch of lawn is the only reason we have any in our backyard and every summer, I hack in a scosh further....another similarity. Can't wait to see your meadow!

  2. Can't wait to see how it turns out! Jeff is getting impatient with the lack of progress in our front yard. He recently told me that he didn't want to be 'that house'. Apparently, I don't care.

    Also, I love your helpful tips on the video.

  3. Not that we' be honest....any kind of help at all. But in the whole "we love you guys and we're good friends" kind of thing we're always happy to come down for a work weekend. We can roll sod. We can laugh at Bubba being all butch. We can mop your fevered brow and make homemade lemonade (provided I learn how, we have lemons, and somebody other than me makes it). Just call.

  4. If we ripped up all our grass and planted it with vegetables, we could have a CSA right from our house.

    There's a thought.

    You need potato beds. You tell Bubba to get right on that.

  5. You are a very brave Bubba and wife! I can't wait to see what your well established no-water-needed patch will look like!

  6. I'm scared for you. I have to do something with our yard. I like grass- but our grass sucks. We don't water, I figure if Mother Nature isn't doing it- why should I. She ain't paying my bills. BUT, my yard is 99% weeds and pricky things that hurt your feet. SOMEDAY, we will have those people that come and fix it. Oh yes. My cat may grow deformities from eating chemical soaked grass but really- that's one con in the face of a huge list of pro's. :)

  7. Lots of yard work going on at your house for sure. Our front yard is the typical Arizona no-water rock landscaping. Our back is the problem as the previous owners planted a veritable jungle and I exaggerate not at all. Now that Dub is no longer allowed to work in the yard 'cause of his breathing issues, I've had to take over all those tasks, too. Plumb wears me out.

  8. Ooh, the sod cutter looks like fun!

    I wonder about reducing our lawn even more, by putting in more beds...but I don't see us ever getting rid of it entirely.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

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Sucks, right?

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But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.