Turf War

A little over 20 years ago, a promotion brought me to my employer’s headquarters in metro-Atlanta.  Prior to this move, my family and I had resided in relatively small towns where the company had located its manufacturing facilities.
neighborhood
Our first order of business was finding a new home which we quickly realized was going to be as simple as deciding which of the hundreds of cookie-cutter residential developments provided the best access to good schools, good shopping, and a relatively easy commute for me to and from work each day.

I describe these neighborhoods as being cookie-cutter because once you had seen one, you had seen them all; 2-story brick homes with a full finished basement, 2-3 car garage, sidewalks, neighborhood pool and tennis court facility, and of course a sodded Bermuda grass yard.  The only things more ubiquitous than the endless expanses of Bermuda sod are the Bradford Pear trees.

I remember a co-worker asking me which “Corporate Ghetto” we had decided on moving in to; a tongue-in-cheek humorous description which nonetheless is not without merit.

Maintaining one’s Bermuda yard in a pristine, weedless state was, and still is, considered a priority of the highest order.  Many residents take the easy way out which means contracting with one of the limitless supply of lawn maintenance firms to treat their yards on a monthly basis with a cocktail of herbicides and fertilizers.

For the first few years, I too subscribed to that method; but eventually determined that I could protect my yard from the scourge of weeds by treating the lawn myself.  As long as the neighbors on both sides of one’s home are taking equally strident precautions to eradicate weeds (or native ground cover and vegetation to use the politically correct term),  this alternative can and will work quite well.

Unfortunately, in my case, there was a breakdown in this balance.  It came in the form of new neighbors.  Let me be quick to state that they are very nice people; a family of four who are friendly, out going, and very pleasant.  The only fly in the ointment is that they are apparently totally unconcerned with the appearance of weeds in their yard and the fact that those same weeds are slowly migrating into their neighbor’s yards.

For the first couple of years, I was successful in holding off the onslaught with a chemical treatment which was advertised as being able to eradicate a large variety of weeds while having no adverse impact on the grass.

Unfortunately this year, a new breed of weed has joined the invasion and which, to date, has proved to be immune to my tried and true chemical treatment.
annual-bluegrass
I’ve identified the culprit as a variety of annual bluegrass (curse you Kentucky!).  I confirmed that this particular weed is not listed on my current treatment’s hit list, but I have been able to find another product which claims to be effective against it.

The first treatment as been spread on my lawn and I’m currently in a “wait and see” holding pattern to determine whether or not harmony and balance will be restored.

In lawn care, as in so many other aspects of life, the best offense continues to be a good defense!

 

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