07 June 2007

Weeding Weeds from Weeds

I'm wondering if anyone thinks it is as comical as I do that I have to devote a significant chunk of my gardening time this week to pulling weeds from our new grass patch. Perhaps it's even funnier that I'm writing about weeding grass.

We started out at the beginning of April by freecycling the stones from this patio and deciding to grow grass.

old patio gone goodbye

I've never really been a fan of grass, never have devoted any of my time to caring for or maintaining a lawn. My philosophy has been one of it's grass, it's a weed, so who cares? Mind you, I've never lived in a place where we've experienced "grass issues."

Prior to this experiment, the only experience I've had with growing grass was at my parents' home. And, I was purely a bystander and not a participant.

I was still in the early years of grade school and I cannot remember exactly why, but my mother wanted to build up a berm around the perimeter of our lawn. I think she might have gotten fed up with all of the neighbourhood dogs using our lawn as a bathroom. She had my step-father truck in a load of dirt and build a mini-mountain barrier to separate our lawn from the street.

It was then seeded. Only, my parents opted to use fast growing grass so that we wouldn't have to look at the pile of dirt on our lawn for a long period of time. I believe the new dirt seeded easily and we had a thick carpet of grass relatively soon.

But we had one problem. And, a pretty big one at that.

The new grass grew twice as fast as the other grass on the lawn. By midweek, the mini-mountain of grass would need to be cut. By the weekend, it would be 2-3 inches tall and look wild, uncared for and offensive to the suburban landscape.

As much as my mother tried to not be those people, in that house, with that lawn, I don't think she ever did with much success.

When it came to growing our own patch of grass, we opted to start it from seed and knew not to buy fast growing grass. I didn't do any research. I didn't ask any questions. I just purchased some seed and tossed it out there.

A little over a month later, and with a second seeding, this is what we now have growing in our backyard. What I never thought to calculate in my plans was the presence weeds. A whole, big whack of them squarely planted in my patch of grass.

dirt, weeds and grass

Now I have patches of grass, patches of weeds, and patches of dirt. I'm spending more time trying to get the grass to grow and weeding it than I am on growing my veggies and fixing up the other gardens. It's because as I pull out the weeds, I have to be careful not to pull up a handful of the weed I'm actually trying to grow.

This is what a 1 foot x 10 foot pass of weeding looks like. Sigh. Thank goodness I find weeding relaxing.

whack of weeds

But in more exciting news, the munchkins spotted the first tomato blossom of the season. It's on one of my non-heirloom plants, a Christmas grape. With a frost watch earlier this week, and the plants entering their third week in the ground, I'm wondering if it's too early.

first tomato blossom of 2007

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