Dandelions, lawn make worthy adversaries


First Posted: 4/18/2009

I think, at the risk of bringing an April blizzard down upon us with such a pronouncement, that spring has finally sprung.
I say this because the weather has stayed relatively warm for more than three consecutive days, baseball players have taken to diamonds everywhere in games that mean something (none of this spring training rubbish), and, most tellingly, my annual battle with the lawn has begun.
I have a rather large yard, not to mention an always fluctuating schedule, and sometimes I cant get it all mowed at once.
Last week is a good example. On Monday I was off from work, so I spent some time mowing the front lawn. I have to say that when I was done it looked pretty good. The next day, however, I noticed these little yellow flowering weeds were starting to crop up the dreaded dandelions.
OK, Im thinking, just a few here and there, doesnt look so bad. By Wednesday the yard was covered with them it looked as if I had a dandelion farm going. I thought dandelions spread primarily when they grew into those white feathery little balls, which would then disperse with the wind (or my kids running around the yard blowing on them, as if they were blowing bubbles). I havent seen any of the white feathery balls this year, yet my yard seems to have been overrun with the little yellow flowers.
Thursday morning, when my next opportunity to mow came around, I realized what a grand trick Mother Nature was playing on me. The dandelions were propagating at such a rapid pace, I now believe, so I wouldnt notice just how fast the grass was growing. To get to the rest of the yard that hadnt yet had its initial trimming of 2009, I had to push my mower across the front lawn, and when I did I noticed a swath of significantly shorter grass in my wake. Then I realized the grass had grown an inch in three days!
At this rate Ill have to mow every four days, or risk finding my yard turned into a knee-high field of weeds. Sometimes I wonder if theres not some alien race out there in space trying to figure out how to best take over the world, and theyve been experimenting with various forms of grass and weeds in my yard. You know, if the aliens can keep us all so busy fighting to keep our lawns under control well never notice the spacecraft landing and taking over the cities.
OK, maybe thats a little melodramatic, but I think you get the idea Im being overrun with lawn duties, and its not even May!
I dont suppose I should complain, though. The same processes that give us out-of-control grass and world-conquering dandelions also, I hope, will be supplying us with cherries and blueberries and a kitchen full of veggies from the garden this year.
If I ever get to the garden with all the mowing Ill be doing.
John Peters is editor of The Mount Airy News. He can be reached at [email protected] or by calling 719-1931. If hes not there, hell return your call as soon as hes done mowing.

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