Pretty much any time I post a picture of my yard, I get the same several questions in the comment thread from folks who are apparently new around here. After most of a decade, I’m now officially bored with answering the same questions (sorry guys, it’s not you, it’s me), so I’m creating The Yard FAQ to refer people to in the future.
So, questions, in the order they come to my brain:
1. Damn, that’s a lot of lawn. How big is your yard, anyway?
Our property is five acres, and with the exception of the house, driveway and shed, it is entirely lawn. The dimensions of the property, as I understand it, are almost exactly those of a Manhattan city block.
2. How do you mow and how long does it take?
We have a lawn tractor with a 48″ blade, with an outboard attachment that adds an additional 60″ of mowing blades, which means (for those of you who don’t wish to do with math) that we can cut a swath of grass nine feet wide with each pass. The entire yard at that rate takes about four hours.
3. Do you mow your own lawn?
No. I did it off and on for the first couple years and then developed a righteous grass allergy. Since then it’s been done either by Krissy or by my father-in-law, although I think he may be retiring from the mowing game at some point. Athena’s a year or two away from being able to handle the tractor, so for the time being Krissy mows or we hire someone local to do it for us.
4. How do you water and tend your yard?
Water is provided by the sky; i.e., the grass gets watered when it rains. We don’t have sprinklers or any other such thing. If it doesn’t rain, the grass goes brown (as it did earlier in the summer). Beyond that, we contract with TruGreen to have their folks come by every now and then for weed control and aeration, which keeps the yard dandelion free and otherwise generally healthy. We don’t devote a huge amount of time to the yard aside from mowing; it’s grass, it knows what to do.
5. Instead of just having all the grass, you guys should really [insert favorite ecological/esthetic/whatever things for us to do with our yard].
Tell you what, if you want to come over and devote the time/energy/money to do that thing you think I should do with my yard, then we can talk. Otherwise, it’s very likely to remain in its current, yard-like state.
6. What do you do with all that yard?
The dog, child and cats play around in it, we use a small part of it as a garden, and personally speaking every once in a while I go stand in the middle of it and say to myself, Good lord, this is a lot of lawn. That’s pretty much it.
7. Why did you get such a large lawn?
When my wife first told me she wanted to move to Ohio, I was not for it — not because I disliked her family (they’re lovely, actually), but because as a native southern Californian then currently living outside of Washington DC, I didn’t want to move to Ohio. So I thought I would be clever and told her we could move if she found a place with five acres of land, under the reasoning that I could never afford that much acreage. I forgot that Ohio land values are not southern California or suburban DC land values. She found five acres that we could afford pretty easily. This is the five acres (and house) she liked the most. And here we are. With a big damn yard.
8. Do you like your big damn yard?
Yup, especially since I don’t have to mow it. More seriously it’s nice to have a lot of space for Athena to play in, and to be able to let the pets out without worrying about them wandering where they shouldn’t, and to have space between me and my (very nice to be sure) neighbors. I’m not in any real rush to move, and having a nice big yard is part of that.
Those are the basic questions and answers; if you have any more questions drop them in the comments and maybe I’ll provide answers there.