#11  
Old 04-05-2008, 08:19 AM
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Default Re: How's your Spring shaping up?

I've had to mow the lawn once now. So it must be spring.
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  #12  
Old 04-05-2008, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: How's your Spring shaping up?

Geeze,
I'm at 5 or 6 times. Grass grows like weeds around here. No need to fertilize or do anything special.

I cut down an acre of Timothy grass and seeded it without any other work. No covering it in soil, no watering, no fertilizer, nothin! Instant lawn!
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  #13  
Old 04-06-2008, 10:28 AM
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Default Re: How's your Spring shaping up?

We should have mowed sooner than I did- I had to rake it. What's your last average frost date there? Ours is May 15, and while we've had some really warm days, overall it's been colder this spring for longer than normal.
The cherry is blooming, the forsythia is as well, and the flowering quince is outstanding right now. My eyes and sinuses, not so much.
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  #14  
Old 04-06-2008, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: How's your Spring shaping up?

The orchards I like )) but....Who invented them grass lawns anyway?
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  #15  
Old 04-06-2008, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: How's your Spring shaping up?

Elizabeth - 30th of April is the last frost date around here. We could easily be done with sub-freezing temps by now.

XJ - the grasses themselves invented lawns, in a round about sort of way. They're weeds, just like every other plant in the world. Some weeds we've found uses for, so we give them nicer names and take better care of them. We just kill the ones that don't look nice and do damage to the weeds we like. Some weeds make great homes if you cut them up into lumber first. Some weeds create great fruits that will eventually become the best wines ever made. On and on. Weeds are just plants that we don't have a use for (yet).

In the case of lawns though, mowing the nasty grasses down to a tolerable height was the only way to manage this invasive weed. Serendipitously, it turned out that grasses actually looked pretty cool if you kept them cut to a constant level. Somebody with great vision recognized there might be a market for selling their seeds. What an industry. How many billions are spent on lawns? Scary to think about, but nice around here. As I said - other than mowing, no care required - unless you hate dandelions.
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  #16  
Old 04-06-2008, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: How's your Spring shaping up?

There is a least one theory that the "modern suburban lawn" was a goverment ploy to pull the USA out of the Great Depression of the 1930's. Between that and the Barbie Doll, Americans have spent gobs of money in the fruitless quest for status. (If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends ?) A lawn is a trememdous sinkhole of time and money, thus stimulating the economy.

At my house we have spent serious effort in completely removing said lawn. We have replaced it with native low maintenance "weeds" that we like.
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  #17  
Old 04-06-2008, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: How's your Spring shaping up?

Ahh, edible weeds that make food taste great. My favorite kind! Once again, man removes the Darwin factor of survival of the fittest.
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  #18  
Old 04-07-2008, 06:32 AM
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Default Re: How's your Spring shaping up?

Haha, we had snow again this morning!

If we let the survival of the fittest work unhindered in our garden, it would end up populated only by dandylions, slugs and blackberry bushes in about equal parts...

Oh, and nettles. Good butterfly plant though.

I quite like a wild garden look, and a wild lawn with lots of flowers in it, but why do some plants have to be so darn dominating?
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  #19  
Old 04-07-2008, 07:52 AM
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Default Re: How's your Spring shaping up?

Frances, what does a nettle look like? I have this cookbook I brought back from Italy and it has a recipe for a frittata with nettles in it. I haven't the foggiest idea what a nettle is.
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  #20  
Old 04-07-2008, 10:29 AM
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Default Re: How's your Spring shaping up?

A nettle is a low growing plant - to about 3 or 4 feet tall - perfect stinging height for your hands as you walk through them. Fairly large deep green leaves with serrated edges (where the stingers are, I believe). Around here, they seem to grow in fairly wet and overgrown areas. Here's some info:

Stinging nettle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frances View Post
I quite like a wild garden look, and a wild lawn with lots of flowers in it, but why do some plants have to be so darn dominating?
You got it. Survival of the fittest. Better mechanisms of spreading their seeds around, developing foliage patterns that compete more effectively for growing space that essentially choke out the competition, developing root systems that allow the plant to easily survive having their entire foliage being ripped out of the ground, (over and over again). You kind of have to admire their dominance (in a distainful way, of course) But as I said, if they were prettier or were more useful, we'd love them and take care of them. I do hate nettles though!
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