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Thread: Rant of the day - Of neighbors and lawns

  1. #1
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    Rant of the day - Of neighbors and lawns

    So we seem to have landed on a street where the retired men spend their days tending turf. Mowing, blowing, watering endlessly - every blade green and perfect. And now it is fall and leaves are everywhere yet they are out there daily blowing them off their lawns. One even squirts a hose into the tree canopy to coax off the last of the leaves. Having left a land of intermittent drought and being a fan of native plants, this is all driving me a bit nuts. Today one of them mentioned that if some of us would take care of our lawns, he wouldn't have to worry about leaves so much which I guess is directed at us. It makes no sense to me to rake up leaves until they are done falling. Even then, bare ground loves leaves that help nourish the soil. I don't want to irritate the neighbors, but I guess I''ll go out tomorrow and rake some leaves and throw them in the backyard where they can't be seen. Grr...

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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Bored retired neighbours are a pain. It becomes a competition to see who has the greenest lushest lawn.

    Our neighbourhood has a similar problem. Some have municipal water watering systems for their lawns but some had private wells dug at the time of building their homes to water their lawn. In the heat of a dry summer, I will water once a week to help the grass survive. My immediate neighbour's lawn to the left but separated by my driveway, mows the lawn every second day, waters from a well every day, even to the point of needing to spray for 'crane flies'. I had never heard of them before so googled these bugs.

    "Crane flies are typically associated with moist vegetative habitats. Crane fly larvae can be found in moist soil feeding on decomposing vegetation and various plant roots. Some species may be found in streams feeding on small aquatic insects, invertebrates, and any decaying plant life found near the surface." These neighbours are watering so much that they trigger bugs rarely found in our area.

    The neighbour adjacent and to the right rarely mows, has not fertilized the lawn and never waters. We share a lovely population of dandelions and other native weeds. Life is rather interesting but I figure there things to get excited about and lawns are not one of them.

    It is amusing to see to what efforts some will go for a lush green lawn so appreciate your struggle to strike a balance.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  3. #3
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    As I cast about looking for other places to live, I see a neighborhood of older houses on big lots in the city across the river. I was (and still am) interested in that old subdivision but they rolling green lawn people, and the houses sit back with that large green space in front.

    I think they would resent us, Ma and Pa Kettle, tearing up the perfect turf of their neighborhood to plant veggies and flowers.

    now, one of my friends in the iris society bought a McMansion in Turfland but all of her iris plantings are behind her house. At least for now. Hahaha, she will run out of room eventually, she just put 800 cultivars in the ground. With that kind of iris addiction no turf is safe!
    Last edited by iris lilies; 11-5-17 at 12:42pm.

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    Do you have a mulching mower?

    where do all these leaves go when they are blown “away” by leaf blowers? I visualize them being wafted from lawn to lawn until they finally come to rest at your place.

    Mow them into mulch and let them stay!

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    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    I detest the pollution of leaf burners. Piles of leave smoldering day and night. But to the OPs point....it does become and addiction. I had about an acre and a half of green grass to maintain for 20 years. When I retired, it was therapy to mow on my John Deere, roll the lawn with a big metal rolling water tank, fertilize against dandelions and Japanese beetle grubs, rake and mulch leaves, trim with a power weed whacker....and drink all the time doing it. Take away the drinking and it wasn’t therapy. And yes, the neighbors on either side were in symphony with me. But when I took up mowing a golf course for a part time job, the fun disappeared. After moving on a Ford 2000 tractor with a sixteen foot gang mower all day long...I came home to face three hours of lawn care. Lost it’s allure. I figured all the cost of maintaining and the time and decided to pay somebody else to do it ....so I moved to a condo. I still drink now but I do it watching some other person fuss over my lawn for different reasons.

  6. #6
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post

    where do all these leaves go when they are blown “away” by leaf blowers? I visualize them being wafted from lawn to lawn until they finally come to rest at your place.
    Our township will vacuum them off the curb, so people typically use their blowers to push them down to the street. I shake my head all the time. I particularly shake my head at the neighbor who always bags his organic stuff into big contractor bags for the garbageman to take. Makes me crazy. We mulch the leaves into the grass, and if we have too many, I put the mulched leaves into the compost.

    I think we have a few too many weeds in our lawn but most of them are beneficial: the white clover and the dandelions don't bother me at all. I'd much rather have a few weeds than fertilize my lawn.

    Williamsmith, we can't burn leaves where we live. It's been outlawed for decades. I'm surprised you still have it in your area.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    I think they would resent us, Ma and Pa Kettle, tearing up the perfect turf of their neighborhood to plant veggies and flowers
    I did this. No more lawn left. In addition to flowers and veggies I have a bunch of blue rug junipers. Now I spend my time weeding instead of mowing.

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    I am retired and waiting for the bored part to set in. We blow leaves several times a season due to the many huge maple trees in our yards. My husband blows leaves with a front mounted leaf blower on a garden tractor and it is not a real hard thing to do. The leaves blow into a field so with the nearest neighbor mile away it bothers no one. I like the look of a leaf covered lawn but if left over the winter we just have a deep, soggy mess of leaves to remove in the spring. We have neighbors who mow their lawns maybe twice a year and most of don’t care what the other does, just a difference in priorities.

  9. #9
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    I spent yesterday out in the yard moving leaves and picking up pebbles to add to a walkway in the backyard I'm building. It's the Ozarks pebbles just come up through the ground. It's plenty of time to think about things. I got to wondering about retired men and wondered if there were any anywhere that were so obsessed with their yard that even if they mowed that morning and saw a neibor mowing that afternoon did they go ahead and mow again just to be the most freshly mown lawn on the street? I have one neighbor down the road that doesn't understand Ozark yards. He is trying to have the perfectly flat manicured lawn. He's had it regraded every year and sod installed.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  10. #10
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    DH obtained one of those blowing devices free, as he does with many appliances. People leave them when they move, toss them in the alley, etc. Anyway, he has been using it on our patio for the past several years. Ugh. He blows the leaves into piles onto our lawn, and then mows them with a mulching mower.

    But we still have plenty of leaves. I rake them and most years put them into the compost dumpsters. Last year I raked lots of leaves into the street for the street sweeper to pick up. Probably these do not go to the composting piles of the city, and that is too bad.

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