I think I’ve seen more overgrown lawns the last couple of weeks than I have at any other time. With all the recent rain, things seem to have gotten out of hand rather quickly.
It appears many homeowners, including me, were caught napping as burned-out lawns long dormant because of the drought became foot-high hay fields overnight.
Calling my yard a lawn is stretching it quite a bit. For while my yard certainly has turned green and grown like crazy, very little of what’s growing is actual grass.
Large patches of my yard are covered by some type of weed that grows as thick as it does tall.
I’m not sure what this stuff is; I only know it seems to be perpetually wet, and it doesn’t give in to a lawnmower without a serious fight.
When I finished mowing my suddenly overgrown lawn recently, I felt as if I’d just gone 10 rounds with a boxing kangaroo. I was battered, beaten and exhausted.
Not wanting to leave 6 inches of hay on top of the yard, I decided to put the bagger on the mower.
I think I emptied the bag approximately 87 times as it almost instantly became clogged with giant clumps of wet weedage.
As I trudged back and forth across the lawn, the mower continually bogged down as it tried to hack these green monsters into submission.
So I found myself doing the old lawnmower shuffle: three steps forward, two steps back, repeat ad infinitum.
It didn’t help that at the time the humidity was about 90 percent, and I was completely out of shape.
Normally, mowing the lawn all summer keeps me in fairly good condition. But this summer, during the height of the drought, I went two months between mowings.
And I got soft.
In my defense, had I been mowing actual grass, I’m sure I would have come through unscathed. But this was not grass.
These were evil weeds that had murdered my drought-weakened grass. When my mower bogged down as I tried to shove it through a particularly heavy patch, I could hear these weeds laughing at me.
“Everybody hold hands with your neighbor and form giant clumps,” I heard a particularly large (and ugly) weed say. “If we band together, we can clog up the bag every couple of minutes.
“He can cut us down, but he’ll wish he hadn’t!”
Under normal conditions, i.e., I’m cutting actual grass, I can mow my entire lawn in less than an hour without taking a break.
Not this time. I had to sit down and rest four times before I finally finished.
“Whose laughing now?” I muttered as I emptied the last bag of wet weeds into the Toter. As I walked toward the house to take a shower, I was thinking I should look into getting a more powerful lawnmower … or a more powerful body.
Yet as I turned back for one last look at the newly mown yard, I was also feeling quite proud of myself for defeating the nasty weeds.
But that feeling didn’t last long.
That same night we got more rain, and the next evening when I looked out the back window it appeared as if I had never mowed at all. I walked out the back door for a closer inspection.
I heard some tee-hee-heeing coming from the yard. I knelt down for a closer inspection.
“We’re baaack,” I heard. “What are you going to do now, Mr. Big Shot, with your fancy mower? Your Toter’s full, and pickup is nearly a week away. We’ll be 2-feet-tall by then!”
I calmly walked to the storage shed, opened the door, pulled a plastic bottle from a shelf and stepped back out onto the lawn.
As I held up the bottle, I heard a collective gasp rise from the ground.
“I’ve got one word for you boys,” I yelled. “Roundup!”
“Aiyeee! Everybody run! Darn these roots!”
Doug Showalter can be reached at 379-5625 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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