Eight long years ago, we moved into our new house. It was our very first new house …. surrounded by dirt. Visions of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon combined with Busch Gardens and watered with the fountains from in front of the Bellagio in Vegas lead me to believe that things would grow in Phoenix. My green thumb and my gardening magazines had me waltzing barefoot over lush verdant lawn surrounded (in my mind) by vivid pink flowers in royal blue pots with hanging vines of happy sun-yellow blooms covering our block walls. Eight long years later, I have discovered the error of my ways.
We planted Bob-Sod (grass), which was the wonder of the ages at that time. Little did we know that it would look fabulously lush and green for four or five years and then haunt us for the remaining years in the house. Seems that Bob-Sod is a combo deal with two types of grass… one that grows up and one that grows sideways and chokes out all other plant life in the vicinity. Unbelievable!
Also in Phoenix, the Bob-Sod is our summer grass. It “dies” or goes dormant for the chilly winter. So we have to plant rye grass if we want a green backyard during the season when it is actually cool enough to enjoy the backyard. This was all well and good for four or five years. Then the Bob-Sod roots got so thick that throwing down rye grass was no longer effective. Well, no longer effective for growing winter grass. VERY effective for feeding the 572 million pigeons who moved down here for the winter.
With the root problem evident, a few years back we aerated the lawn. By foot. That is really close to by hand. We used the age old aerating tool that looks like a shovel but replacing the blade were two metal tubes that poked dainty hole in the lawn, presumably allowing the rye grass to grow. This was true. Sadly. Everywhere where there was a hole from the aerating tool, the rye grass grew. But that was the only place it grew. The “designated grass area” looked like a bald man who just got bad plugs.
Once again, winter is upon us. We decided to kill off the Bob-Sod by not watering it for the last two months. I like to tell people we are going for the foreclosed look in the backyard. I don’t think the Bob-Sod died at all. Tonight my husband used a de-thatching blade on the lawn mower to break up the roots and prepare the soil for rye grass. It was comical and I was prepared to remember this day for all eternity with a photograph of him wearing a white mask over his mouth and nose that was scotch taped to his face, but no. A de-thatching blade on dirt simply makes HUGE dirt clouds. Dirt clouds that you can’t even see through. Nor take pictures through. When the dust settled (on everything in the backyard… and our neighbors’ backyards) I went out with the hose and feebly tried to clean things off.
So tomorrow just might be the day the rye seed goes down, followed by manure and sand, followed by the creative devices I will concoct to scare away the 572 million pigeons. I used to use the baby swing, but I don’t have one anymore. (HEY! Tomorrow is 50% off day at Goodwill! Baby SwingS, here I come!)