Monday, May 11, 2009

Live from Chariton: Peace in the valley

Even as we speak, poisonous chemicals are being applied to my front and side yards. Looks like it's goodbye Charlie, hello to a few more pollutants in southern Iowa's drinking water supply. But what's a guy to do?

The neighbor's been trying to match me up with a turf care company for years --- he has lain awake at night I think during the summer listening for the tiny trendrils of Charlie creeping south toward his immaculate grass, having nightmares about dandelions once he fell asleep.

Today, the planets aligned. I came home from a hike through the Chariton River bottom just as the turf guy from Leon pulled up to spray the lawn of the duplex to the north. Like a shot, neighbor was there to investigate. Then to my front door to tell me of the opportunity. Minutes later, the turf guy himself --- a nice young guy from Leon --- was at the front door.

Enter crisis of conscious. I don't like lawn chemicals. On the other hand, I want my neigbor, now in his mid-80s, to be able to sleep at night. Many years ago, I bought a modest life insurance policy just to get rid of the agent. Same principle. Pesky persistence sometimes pays off. In this case, I want to see my neigbors again; just don't want to hear about the lawn.

And I only went part way. Only the front half of the lot --- where Charlie and the dandelions flourish most enthusiastically --- is being treated, and will be treated twice more before winter comes. The back 40 remains unscathed.

1 comment:

Ed Abbey said...

I am a minimalist when it comes to lawn care but finally the creeping charlie was practically taking over my lawn and in the interest of neighbor relations, I opted for chemical warfare.

I bought some Weed B Gone at the local hardware store and applied it last fall per instructions. It did remarkably well and I applied a dose a few weeks ago to take care of some of the thicker patches. I didn't like doing so but I made myself feel better by waiting for a week when no rain was in the forecast so that the plants could absorb it completely before being washed away and like you said, in the interest of neighbor relations. Now all I need to do is cure my ant problem which is really bad this year for some reason.