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Outdoor Life: Good ideas are hard to find
Alvin Richardson

Not too long ago I cooked up what might be termed as either a dazzling idea or a hair-brained scheme depending on your point of view. No matter which description is used it can be said without hesitation that things quickly went south. That particularly inspirational brainstorm concerned cleaning out the carport and storage room and it lost traction because of the sheer magnitude of the task. Unfortunately my mind has continued to whirl and dance thus producing another outstanding plan. This one, I thought would be much more manageable and had the added benefit of being an outdoor project. As many of you know yardwork can be quite exhilarating and thus I had a new goal.
    Make my grass grow.
    A little background first. Last summer during the drought of ’16 my backyard and particularly one section of it became devoid of actual grass. It did continue to maintain some weedy looking stuff but the real grass we’d planted ten years ago was non-existent. As one who used to cultivate first-rate Bermuda grass on the football field this was an intolerable situation. I’m not necessarily looking for Yard of the Month status here but my yard was turning into a wasteland.
    So cleverly I began watering it — but with no result.
    This was a unique problem. I’d never encountered grass that wouldn’t grow. My problem was always the opposite. The stuff would grow faster than I could keep it cut.
    Now I have struck on this brand new idea. I’ll start off by aerating the yard and later will get a soil sample and then fertilize it to some exact specifications in order to get the grass back to its roots. All in good time. Aerating the yard is step one. Starting from ground zero so to speak.
    Of course I don’t have an actual aerator but knew a neighbor who did and he graciously let me borrow it. If you are not mechanically inclined it might take me a long time to explain how it works. The simple version is that this apparatus has two wheels and a bunch of little spikes that dig down into the ground. This
    particular model also comes equipped with a large piece of granite weighing in at about four hundred pounds that balances on top to give it more puncture power. The unit is then attached to the back of your lawnmower and away you go. Nothing could be simpler.
    Except that nothing is simple when it comes to my ideas.
    First of all the piece of granite weighed more than I can lift. To overcome this problem I relied on superior intellect and recruited someone to help me get it in position. Thus the aerator is now ready to be hooked up even though it now has a four hundred pound hunk of granite sitting on it that will have to be lifted in order secure it to the mower. Just figured I’d worry about that later. Next I went to crank up my lawnmower and of course the battery was dead. I put it on the charger, gave it a couple of hours and started over. Still wouldn’t crank — must be defective. The next step was to give the lawnmower a swift kick and a colorful little scolding that did not bring it back to life but did make me feel better. I then got in the truck, went to town and secured a new battery.
    OK. Things are definitely looking up.
    I put the new battery in place, fired up the lawnmower, gave a little whoop of joy and backed it into position. I love it when a plan comes together. Now, as a side note you should be aware that it’s imperative to get the mower backed into a perfect location. When one is lifting an aerator and a four hundred pound rock you must have the hitch just so otherwise you will not be able to hook it up.
    For the life of me I couldn’t get it into that perfect position — mainly because I couldn’t lift the device and accompanying rock more than an inch off the ground. Thus I had to call in some more help to actually get hooked up and finally it was done. Glory.
    Having solved all my issues and standing ready to proceed with aeration, I celebrated by going inside to get a glass of ice water. Thus refreshed I marched back outside, turned the key on my ancient mower and the cussed thing wouldn’t crank. On top of that it began to rain and thus another of my illustrious ideas had gone south.
    On the positive side maybe the rain will help my grass grow.

    (E-mail your grass-growing tips to

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