Saturday, April 16, 2011

Push, Push, Push

If you follow me on Twitter, or have me as a friend on Facebook, you've probably heard me complain about the weed situation here at Casa de Fehling. I'm not sure what's going on, but not only do we have one of the few lawns with green grass (as opposed to dry, dead, yellow grass like we had when we moved in), we also have a LOT more weeds than anyone else.

I have pulled and pulled and pulled, but I just can't keep up with them. I've gotten blisters and callouses from the stupid weeds. I've gotten sunburned while pulling weeds. It's just insane how many there were, and how quickly they get tall!

I know a lot of people would just say to go grab a bottle of RoundUp and be done with it. I would never buy that stuff though because A) it's totally NOT environmentally friendly, B) I don't want to kill the grass too, and that stuff will, and most importantly C) Monsanto makes it, and I would like to avoid giving them money whenever possible. They way they're in everything means they do get money from us. It can't be helped. But to just fork it over directly by buying RoundUp? No way.

If you've watched Food Inc, King Corn, or read anything by Michael Pollan, you know what I'm talking about.

I had this notion that I would pull up the weeds by hand because if I got rid of them at the root they wouldn't come back. Well, I was only partly right. There were less in the areas where I had worked, but those suckers definitely came back. Also, they grew so fast that even if I spent hours weeding one area of the yard, they would grow in the other areas to where I couldn't keep up. We seriously had weeds that were as tall as the boy!

Finally, we decided to give up and just mow them down. So what if they grew back? We would just mow them down again. Forget those stupid weeds. There are two lawnmowers in our garage that our landlord left for us to use. No sweat.

Well, the first problem was that one had a broken wheel. The plastic had broken off so you can't reattach it. Also, it doesn't have the grass catcher bag in the back, so it was not going to be of any use to us. The second one had all of it's wheels and the grass catcher. It was low on oil, but a quick trip to Lowe's could remedy that.

Unfortunately, it also had gas in the tank, and the gas is old. We looked up the manual online and it said the only way to empty the gas tank was to let the mower run until it was out of gas. Um... if the gas won't burn, then how on Earth is the motor going to run??? Then again, it could just be that the lawnmower doesn't work. Either way, it wouldn't start so it wasn't doing us any good either.

Finally, we decided to just go buy a stupid lawnmower. The weeds were threatening to take over! You may think we're crazy, but we opted to get a push mower.

Yup, I was mowing the lawn in a dress and Crocs. I promise I only wear those shoes when working in the yard!

It's not as hard to use one of these as people make it seem. Our yard isn't gigantic, so between my husband and myself we were able to knock it out. Besides, a push mower has advantages over your typical gasoline powered mower -

*It's cheaper. We only paid $99 for this at Lowe's, compared to almost three hundred dollars for a regular one.
*It's greener. You're not using any gas (expensive!) or oil, which means you are not depleting those natural resources to mow your lawn. Also, you're not adding to air pollution with it.
*It's more convenient. You never have to worry about being out of gas, or having to transport and store gasoline.
*It smells better. You won't find yourself behind your mower inhaling junk as it belches toxic fumes in your direction. All you'll smell is clean, freshly cut grass.
*It's a good workout. It's not super hard to push, but you do have to go over most areas more than once. Between the pushing and the walking, it's a decent way to get in your exercise for the day.
*It's easier to start. No more yanking a cord and saying bad words because you didn't do it just right. Just push.

So, if you're in the market for a new lawnmower, or if you just are looking for ways to live a little bit more environmentally friendly, this may be an option you want to check out. It's definitely easier than having to worry about accidentally mowing a power cord like with an electric one.

I, for one, am just happy to be able to walk across the yard without having to wade through a sea of tickly weeds!!!

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Blogger David Andersen said...

We struggled with a super-horrendous bindweed problem in Idaho. When we were trying to clear a patch of our yard to put in a raised bed, I realized just how tenacious weeds could be. The root system is ridiculously complex and if you leave even one tiny piece of root (or stem -- or anything) in the ground, it will regenerate, probably worse than before. I did *not* want weeds in my vegetable garden before I even started sowing. So Dave built me a sifter, and I literally sifted dirt. All. Day. Long. For weeks. But we were able to get rid of all the weed roots and keep all the worms and such and we ended up with actual usable dirt. A less tedious suggestion is to choke them out by using multiple layers of cardboard but it could take many months to kill them off completely and it'd be kind of an eyesore. But it's environmentally safe!

I love your push mower, by the way. Next time we have a lawn, I'm seriously going to push (no pun intended) to get one. :)

9:30 AM  

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