I was glowing over my nice green grass this week. Never been this lush in September and of course our wet summer gets the credit.

But it also reminded me of the last great drought when things were exactly the opposite. Nothing would grow and my yard looked like the Sahara Desert. So during that year when it never rained I came up with a brilliant idea.

Find a way to make my grass grow in the middle of a 100-year drought.

A little background first. During the previous drought, my backyard and particularly one section of it became devoid of actual grass. It did continue to maintain some weedy looking stuff but the real grass we’d planted more than a decade ago was non-existent.

As one who used to cultivate first-rate Bermuda grass on the football field this was an intolerable situation. I wasn’t necessarily looking for Yard of the Month status here but my centipede was turning into a wasteland. I never got that resolved but was determined to do better on the second drought.

So, in the most recent drought I cleverly began watering it – but with no result.

This was a unique problem. I’d never encountered grass that wouldn’t grow. My problem was always the opposite. The stuff would grow faster than I could keep it cut.


So I struck on this brand new idea. I’d start off by aerating the yard and later will get a soil sample and then fertilize it to some exact specifications in order to get the grass back to its roots. All in good time. Aerating the yard is step one. Starting from ground zero, so to speak.

Of course I didn’t have an actual aerator but knew a neighbor who did and he graciously let me borrow it. If you are not mechanically inclined it might take me a long time to explain how it works. The simple version is that this apparatus has two wheels and a bunch of little spikes that dig down into the ground. This particular model also comes equipped with a large piece of granite weighing in at about 400 pounds that balances on top to give it more puncture power. The unit is then attached to the back of your lawnmower and away you go. Nothing could be simpler.

Except that nothing is simple when it comes to my ideas.

First of all the piece of granite weighed more than I could lift. To overcome this problem I relied on superior intellect and recruited someone to help me get it in position. Thus the aerator was ready to be hooked up even though it had a 400 pound hunk of granite sitting on it that will have to be lifted in order to secure it to the mower. Just figured I’d worry about that later.

Next I went to crank up my lawnmower and of course the battery was dead. I put it on the charger, gave it a couple of hours and started over. Still wouldn’t crank – must be defective. The next step was to give the lawnmower a swift kick and a colorful little scolding that did not bring it back to life but did make me feel better. I then got in the truck, went to town and secured a new battery.

OK. Things were definitely looking up.

I put the new battery in place, fired up the lawnmower, gave a little whoop of joy and backed it into position. I love it when a plan comes together. Now, as a side note you should be aware that it’s imperative to get the mower backed into a perfect location. When one is lifting an aerator and a 400 pound rock you must have the hitch just so otherwise you will not be able to hook it up.

For the life of me I couldn’t get it into that perfect position – mainly because I couldn’t lift the device and accompanying rock more than an inch off the ground. Thus I had to call in some more help to actually get hooked up and finally it was done. Glory.

Having solved all my issues and standing ready to proceed with aeration, I celebrated by going inside to get a glass of ice water. Thus refreshed I marched back outside, turned the key on my ancient mower and the cursed thing wouldn’t crank. On top of that it began to rain and thus another of my illustrious ideas had gone south.

On the positive side I remember thinking that perhaps the rain would help my grass grow. What I was sure of however was that good ideas for growing grass are hard to find.

E-mail your grass-growing tips to dar8589@bellsouth.net


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