We used to fertilize the lawn to make the grass grow better and greener, but I learned about what it does to the water and the land so that was the end of that. Ken says our lawn looks scrappy but I say it looks the way it’s supposed to look; we live in mountain terrain, not a verdant valley. Besides, it’s nice to know kids can cut through the yard on their way home from getting off the school bus, and critters can scamper from tree to tree, bunnies can nibble on the plantain without their insides getting shriveled. You will never see a container of Roundup in my shed. It is as important to me as my marriage vows.
Hundreds of hours have been spent pulling up the leggy vines of gill-over-the-ground, the bane of landscapers and almost impossible to eradicate even with the most noxious of herbicides. I started pulling them up by grabbing the leafy heads and teasing the vine up through the matt of last year’s dead grass until long spaghetti strands of vines filled my bucket. But as I crawled over the ground plucking stems and threads, I noticed all the earthworms that were being pulled up with them. They seemed to be using the vines like little wormy highways. The soil around the vines was becoming dark and soft and loamy as if the plant is functioning as a kind worm enabler. Who knows?
My frenetic activity keeps up until the middle of April, until the day suddenly arrives when I am sick of the whole thing and hang the rake up for good whether it’s finished or not. Odd that it happens to coincide when the warblers are returning and the song of the Oriole is heard in the land….