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Lawn Maintenance

09.29.2022 04:26 PM By Kate Shahan

What Am I Doing and Why Does It Always Seem Wrong?

Like most of you, I grew up with the notion of the American Dream….Own my own home, have a car and 2.5 children to fill that home and car. Well, I'm 33 now…I own a home, own a car and find myself perpetually single. As a Millennial, we have been taught to shuck the norms of society and that the American Dream is no longer our Dream. The average Millennial is waiting to have children, waiting to buy a house, waiting to kick start our careers after dealing with the economic crashes in 2008-09 and the COVID crash in 2020. Just ask your average person and they can give you a whole list of items that Millennials have killed…everything from bars of soap to printed money…now lets add the American Dream to the list of things Millennials are learning to deal without.

Because we are waiting longer to start families, single homeownership has been on the rise. How do we deal with it all? Cleaning the inside of the house, cooking, landscaping, snow shoveling, an active dating life and working 50-70 hour weeks so we can promote our careers. Is it possible to complete all of these tasks by yourself as well as keeping up activities we enjoy?

This blog is dedicated to tales of the single homeowner, filled with humor and embarrassment, but hopefully ending with strategies to help you realize your version of the American Dream.

I purchased my current home when I was 26 and the lawn has been the bane of my existence ever since. Growing up in Colorado, we didn't have to mow the lawn very often due to drought and dry conditions. Now, I live in Minnesota where the stunning greenery is breathtaking! How can it be so green?! Its so beautiful! But now that I have a lawn to mow, I constantly ask, "why is the grass always growing?!" I have to mow every 5 days! I try to stretch it into mowing every 7 days, but I think the neighbors frown on that a little. My yard is approximately 0.7 acres, so using my little push mower takes me about two hours too many to mow the lawn.

Not only am I having to mow the yard often, but somehow, I have managed to overrun the yard with crabgrass, clover, dandelions, thistles and wild rhubarb. How did this happen? I google and it says to fertilize, seed, water and mow. This is what my yard looks like now.

So, what are my next steps? Burn it down and try again? Yep, that seems to be the key. I'm going to have to kill all of the weeds and crabgrass, turn up the soil and put seed down. I have a huge yard, so I think I am going to try it in a few spots this summer and see how that goes. If I can make it work, then I will try the rest of the yard next summer.

**Key takeaways: **

  • Keep It Wet: Watering your lawn helps your grass stay strong and prevent weeds from encroaching. If you don't water and the grass dies…crabgrass and clover take over with a vengeance.
  • Three Inch Rule: Set your mower for 3" or higher. If you cut your grass too short, the sun can fry it faster (killing it). Longer grass can retain water better and leave you with healthier grass.
  • Fencing: Use grass/plant killer along your fence to prevent grass and weeds from growing up into your fence. It can create a border that helps you mow around objects in your yard.
  • Don't be afraid of using products: There are all sorts of home remedies that can help with keeping weeds down. Use them. I tried pulling weeds and learned that the humid climate makes it almost impossible to keep up with hand weeding my yard.

Turtle laying eggs in my back yard

I have yet to figure out the intricacies of aerating the lawn, but I am seriously thinking about outsourcing the whole lawn job in the first place. Yard maintenance involves extreme heat, bugs, sweet, frogs, turtles and other demonstrations of beautiful Mother Nature that just are not my thing. As a single homeowner, you will also choose what you want to do around the house and what you want to outsource to the professionals.

Good luck and journey on!

Kate Shahan