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I hate grass

By Penny Stine

We have this no-man’s land out in front of our house:


Technically, it’s not our property. Our property ends at the fence. But it’s in front of our house, our mailbox and our irrigation cistern are out there, so we’ve always tried to take care of it. The first few years we lived in our house, we mowed the grass and weeds. Then I decided to reclaim it for flowers and anything that was prettier than mowed weeds.


I scattered a wildflower seed packet about seven years ago, which was beautiful the first year. Some of the wildflowers (like the cosmos, the sunflowers and something that looks like orange calendula) have come back every year. I’ve also planted strawberries, a rose bush, penstemon, oregano, purple mallow, borage, thyme, iris, yarrow and columbine.


It should be beautiful in the summer. Except I didn’t kill the grass before I ever started. So now every year, I try to figure out a way to kill the grass so you can actually see all the cool things growing out there. Every year I fail.
Last year, I spent the better part of three weekends on my hands and knees in the early spring pulling grass out by hand. The root system was a long, tangled, tenacious rope that wasn’t about to go quietly into the night.

The area looked good for maybe a month. Then the grass returned. By then, I was busy with my real garden, so I ignored the wildflower area and hoped the giant sunflowers and cosmos would intimidate the grass.

No such luck. As you can see, the grass thrived. Once again, I’m going to get out there (maybe this weekend) and cut down all the dead stuff and try to come up with a plan to kill the grass this season. I’m at a loss.

Any suggestions?
 

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