Neil Offen: Alone with my lawn
It’s probably going to rain today. I just watered my lawn.
Not that you could tell, of course. Despite my seeding and weeding, my mowing and blowing, my landscaping and shaping, my lawn continues to look like I have never seeded, weeded, mowed, blowed, landscaped or shaped.
My lawn has more bald spots than I do. So a few months ago, we decided to hire a lawn service to service our lawn, bring it water while we checked the menu, and do the other things to the lawn that we can’t, or don’t want to, do. The lawn service promised that, within weeks, our lawn would be the envy of the neighborhood if only we would change neighborhoods.
In any case, the lawn service came last week, and as always, left a note about the condition of our lawn. Unfortunately, it didn’t leave a translation.
“You have an excessive amount of shade on your property. In shady areas, lawns will become thin, weak and have a harder time tolerating stressful conditions, including preparation of income tax forms, hosting a Thanksgiving dinner or flying into O’Hare.
“You also have an excessive amount of weeds on your property. Your weeds, however, aren’t becoming thin, weak and having a harder time tolerating stressful conditions. In fact, they are doing quite well and should soon be at eye level. They clearly have benefitted from your care and cultivation. You should be proud.
“We tested the pH level of your soil today. It has several Ps, but only one H. We have added more Hs to the mix with a professional power sprayer and a dilution of 2.5 percent maximum concentration. If you would like to know exactly what that means, go to our web site and we will offer you information on one of our convenient payment programs.
“I also observed moss on your lawn this morning. I told him to leave. Moss, by the way, is a primitive plant that forms a felt-like mat over the soil surface. This would make a good pool table and add to the value of your house almost as much as new granite countertops. Your moss is doing very well and you should be proud.
“This morning I applied a herbicide to your lawn. This means that no one named Herb is allowed on your lawn for the next three days or until he changes his name. He could change it to Moss if he likes.
“I also power-sprayed a 17.0.5 dilution of professional-grade 3.25 fertilizer on the 2.5 percent of your lawn that is not weeds. You should start to see a difference in your lawn in about two weeks or right after you pay for your service.
“In sum, your lawn is looking good! Although it does remain an absolute embarrassment to the neighborhood and much of the rest of the state. We could apply more fertilizer or you could sell your house. Your choice!”
Neil Offen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.