Taming the Yard

I haven’t had a yard since I left my parents’ house over a decade ago. Even when I lived there, my contributions to its upkeep were pretty limited, so I was a little perturbed to learn that we’re responsible for any necessary landscaping while we’re here. As is our wont, we ignored it until it got out of control.

Aside from the fact that a gas-powered motor is noisy, heavy, expensive, smelly, etc., it seemed overkill for a space this small that we don’t even own. Unfortunately, a human-powered rotary mower is essentially useless on grass this high (that’s all grass right?). It just smushes it down and rolls over it. Suddenly KC’s suggestion that we buy a machete didn’t seem so absurd. Do they even sell those at Home Depot?

The hedge-clippers worked on the dandelions growing here, but the bulk of the tangle was stubborn and just sort of pinched between the blades. I probably should not admit this in public, even on an anonymous blog, but the solution I arrived at was to use an old, too-long bread knife. Equipped with the knife and gardening gloves, I went through and grasped stalks by the bunch with one hand and slashed at it with the other. Here’s an in-progress shot.

Then we gathered up the clippings and dumped them in what was probably once a flower-bed.

This wasn’t nearly as time-consuming or difficult as I thought it would be, and it shortened the grass to a mowable height. I can’t remember why I didn’t take “after” shots the same day, but this is what it looked like when I got around to finishing the edges a couple of mornings later.

Now I’m jonesin’ for a cook-out.

  1. #1 by Brewer's Wife on May 23, 2011 - 6:12 pm

    Yeah, we often let our grass get too high and stubborn for our human powered mower. We resort to mowing and then hand clipping the stalks that remain. Not a perfect solution, but we refuse to by a gas mower as well. The old bread knife solution is an inventive one! Hopefully it will mow more easily now!

  2. #2 by movingmatters on May 24, 2011 - 6:31 am

    I do think a machete or a sickle or something would be the best tool for the job, especially on a yard any bigger than ours. Maybe they’re super heavy and hard to swing though. I’ve never used one.

    The whole thing made me feel like a peasant in a not-altogether-unpleasant way.

  3. #3 by jsouthern on June 17, 2011 - 11:57 am

    you could have done the whole thing in 5 minutes with a weed whip.

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