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The Grass is Greener

August 16, 2015 | by Mordechai Schmutter

The summer’s not over yet which means you still have time to perfect that lawn. Here are my tips.

I would definitely recommend living somewhere with a lawn, if you absolutely have to live somewhere. Lawns are great. They add color to your life (green, sometimes brown), and it’s the first thing people see when they come over, especially if you haven’t mowed in a while.

When fixing the hose, first peer into it someone else straighten out all the kinks.

In general, you probably don’t give a lot of thought to your lawn, but yards require a lot of maintenance. You have to plant it and water it, and then you poison the stuff that you don’t want, and keep cutting the stuff that you supposedly do. And why? It’s not like you can put it in a salad. But it gives people something to do.

Here are some tips:

I. Planting Grass

The good news is that if your property has room for a lawn, there’s a pretty good chance your home already came with one. If it didn’t, you should probably ask why.

But then you should grow one.

What Type of Grass to Grow

There are a lot of different grasses out there. In fact, scientists say there are over 9,000 species of grass, and they all look pretty much the same. (If you think your job is boring, try cataloguing 9,000 different types of grass.)

The type of grass that most people have – and you’ll know this when you ask them – is “I don’t know, grass.” But the easiest kind to grow, by far, is crab grass. It can grow with almost no effort at all.

How to Plant Grass

Planting grass is like planting anything else. You smear a ton of fertilizer all over the place, to the point where, when people drive by, they turn to each other and go, “Is that you?” Then you dig a hole, drop in a seed, cover the hole, and water it. Unfortunately, your lawn is going to need thirty billion seeds, and you’re going to get bored after doing maybe ten. So after a while, you’re just going to scatter grass seeds randomly and hope for the best. That’s pretty much what the experts do. Unfortunately, this leaves the seeds wide open to…


Birds love eating seeds, and they’re going to be thrilled that you left 30 billion of them lying around on your front lawn.

So how do you keep them away? Hanging up a nice, realistic-looking scarecrow might do the trick, and also cause accidents in front of your house. My neighbor, Tim, recently scattered grass seed, and to keep the birds out, he laid chicken wire horizontally across his entire lawn. And then, to hold down the wire, he stuck several plastic forks into the ground, pointy-side up. The tines also acted as a deterrent to keep the birds from landing on the ground.

And for weeks afterward, everyone who passed by had to ask me about it:

“Are they planting forks?”

“Yes,” I eventually said. It’s a really good idea. This way, they don’t have to keep running to the store to buy forks. They just have to take them inside and rinse them off. Also, it keeps bikes off their lawn. But if I did it, I would grow the handles 6 feet long, so that if I’m at a Kiddush, I could reach over the crowd for a piece of kugel.

II. Watering Your Lawn

You want to make sure that your lawn is getting enough water. Some people are better at remembering to do this than others. I would probably plant my grass, and then check “grass” off my to-do list and forget about it until the grass was brown, and then put it back on the list. But some people water their lawns every day, rain or shine. Especially rain. Because the rain alone is not doing a good enough job, apparently. And sometimes I see sprinklers on but no people around, so apparently the proper amount of water is to turn on the sprinkler and then go on vacation.

How to water a lawn

There should be a faucet on the side of your house, behind some bushes. Plug a hose into that, turn it on, and in one second, you’ll be covered by a spray of water from around the faucet, because no matter what you do, you’re not going to get the hose in tight enough.

At several points, your hose will probably stop working. To fix it, peer into the hose and have someone else straighten out all the kinks. When a stream of water hits you in the face, it’s fixed. If that doesn’t happen, you’re probably standing on the hose.

Turning off the hose

You can never turn off the hose in a way that you’re sure it’s off, because no matter which way you turn it, water will keep trickling out for a good half hour. You’re going to need someone else to peer into the end while you stand in the spray near the house and yell, “Is it still coming out?” and then suddenly turn on the water full blast, to get him back for before. Watering the lawn is fun.

III. Weeding

You also need to take the time, once in a while, to get rid of your weeds. Weeds are grasses that grow among your other grasses, but they’re the wrong kind, so you want to kill them.

How to weed

The simplest way to kill weeds is to spray toxins on them, but a lot of toxins will also kill your grass, because toxins are toxic. The other way to get rid of weeds is to get down on your knees and pull them out, one at a time, preferably on the hottest day of the year. And if you don’t stop for food or sleep, you’ll soon be left with a nice, weedless lawn, and lots of dirt patches where there used to be weeds, like your lawn is going bald and none of the other lawns wants to say anything. We’d recommend getting your lawn a really big yarmulke. Or you can go back to seeding and fighting off birds, perhaps by standing on your front porch with a shotgun.

IV. Mowing

The other thing about lawns is that even the grass that you want doesn’t grow to a nice, manageable height and then stop growing. Especially if you’ve been watering it. There are no one-inch lawns in the wild.

What type of mower to buy

For example, you can go with a corded electric mower, which is the kind that we personally have, and so far we’ve never accidentally driven over the cord. A lot of people buy a gas mower, because they don’t care about the price of gas, although I have no idea how to refill those. Do we have to walk it up to the gas station? Maybe that’s why some people have a driving mower.

A lot of people think that a driving mower is cool, like a go-kart. But it’s basically a really loud car with no muffler than you have to keep under one mile per hour all the time. It’s not like if you floor it, the grass will get cut faster.

But it’s important to know that whatever kind you buy, you should know how it works, because you’re going to spend more time fixing it than you are actually cutting grass with it. Especially if you try mowing your plastic forks.


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