April 21st, 2015
As the grass greens on another growing season, many a homeowner (especially of the male persuasian) will spring into action with crabgrass preventer, Step 1 fertilizer, mowers galore and the rest of the “good-homeowner” lawn regimen.
People sink a lot of time, energy and cash into that perfect outdoor green carpet. But a brewing trend is a noticeable bump in the number of people questioning whether all of this is a sensible goal.
One of them is Roger Swain, the red-suspendered former long-time host of TV’s The Victory Garden, who gave an interesting talk on this topic at the 2011 Pennsylvania Garden Expo.
Swain isn’t an anti-grass guy. He just thinks we can do with less of it and with grass that’s “good enough” instead of perfect.
So he came up with what he dubbed “Roger Swain’s 12-Step Plan for the Lazy Lawn-Care Gardener.”
“You won’t win any points from the golf-course manager,” he says. But neither will you get voted out of the subdivision.
Here’s the plan:
1.) Be kind to your mower. “Get your mower out of the garage now,” Swain says. “Try starting it. If it doesn’t fire up now, it’s not going to run in May. But by then the lines at the repair shop will be much longer.”
2.) Be good to your gas. One of the main reasons mowers don’t start in spring is because you left gas in the tank, and it gunked up over winter.
“Run it dry at the end of the year,” Swain says. “Then every time you buy gasoline, add gasoline stabilizer. Put it right into the can. Use 1 ounce for every 2 ½ gallons of gas. It keeps gas from going bad.”
3.) Mind your ears. Swain recommends ear guards for anyone using a power mower.
“Mowing equipment is loud enough to damage your hearing,” he says. “You’ll look stupid, but at least people will see that you can’t hear them.”