Perfectly happy with an imperfect lawn

At 8 o’clock this morning I was in the middle of spreading fertilizer on our lawn.

I’m not really sure why I do it every year because my lawn work will largely fail.

Our lawn will never  appear as perfect as the ones on the fertilizer bagz. You know the kind of photo I mean, the one with a mother and father and two perfect children playing on a lush green lawn that’s cleaner than most carpets. Most times there’s a show-quality golden retriever romping with them, too.

Our front yard will look decent as long as the rains come and Kathy gets out and zaps a few dandelions with spray. But we settle for “green is good” out back.

It’ll never be great because I’m too cheap and lazy to water when it’s needed. If I’m going to invest that much energy and money it’ll be in our garden where I get the satisfaction of producing something wholesome to eat for my troubles.

Or if there’s time I might head to our farm and work on wildlife habitat so I can spend some time in what I consider the real outdoors.

And there’s also the lawn-scarring problem of two dogs that have free-range of our large back yard.

A little mowing evens-out the clumps were “well-fertilized” grass grows a bit thicker. A little bulldozing could help the deep wallows that develop in cool areas in the heat of the summer.

And then there’s that very obvious trail coming down the middle of the back lawn to our deck, a trail where the dirt’s so compacted even dandelions and crabgrass can’t grow.

Kathy blames it on Hank, who like most big Labs can’t be deviated from a pattern by cannon fire.  He will walk 20 yards out of his way to use that path when he could get some place much faster in a straight line.

But I contend most of the damage is done by Ruby Tuesday, Kathy’s eight-pound miniature dachshund. After all, those inch-long legs have to pound the ground a lot more times to get her anywhere compared to Hank.

OK, so my dog’s at fault for the wallows and the trail but I’m fine with that.

Somehow I doubt those gorgeous goldens on the fertilizer bags have ever busted ice on a pond to fetch those people a wounded duck or goose. Chances are they don’t enjoy many meals of  tomatoes they’ve grown with their own hands and fresh crappie fillets they’ve pulled from the water only hours before.

I’ll take those things over a perfect lawn for the rest of my life. No sweat.

If I get a desire to see a fine lawn I can simply look at our neighbor’s. He’s got the kind of yard that might put the ones on the fertilizer bags to shame.Seriously.

If he wants to charge me for the privilege I’ll hand him a few ‘maters and a bag of fillets.

I don’t think he duck hunts.