We have a corner lot and a big lawn. We get nasty letters from the HOA from time to time.
In the past we’ve had a full-service lawn company (until we moved in ourselves– they were super expensive), mowers every 2 weeks, mowers every week, DH using the manual mower (big muscles!), DH using the gas mower…
We started out with one kind of grass, but now the Bermuda has moved in. That means it has to be mowed once a week or the Bermuda heads start showing. And the manual push mower doesn’t get the stupid Bermuda head seeds.
Drought has also done a number on our lawn, killing shade trees and trees that were meant to become shade trees.
DH now doesn’t have enough time to work as much as he wants, spend as much time with his family as he wants, and take care of the yard. And taking care of the yard used to be a family affair, but as the years have gone by, my grass allergies have gotten so bad that I really just can’t. I’ve tried, but even the smallest touch of grass (and many other green things) results in major hives. I’m not much help.
We got a recommendation for a new lawn person. He quoted $500 for a full yard cleanup (which it needs– bushes need trimming, flower beds need weeding and mulching) and $50/week for mowing and edging. $50/week is a bit high, even for our massive lawn. When he was talking to DH he said that would include weed maintenance in the flowerbeds, which might make it reasonable, but he didn’t write that on the estimate form.
We spent literally hundreds of dollars every month in the summer to keep the lawn watered and it still doesn’t do great. DH spends hours every month fixing and replacing sprinkler heads. We’ve called around and can’t find a sprinkler place that does drip irrigation. They say the soil here makes it wrong, or something. But that can’t be true because the city nearby has the same soil and there are people there who do drip irrigation.
It may be time to seriously consider xeriscaping. We have a couple recommended xeriscapers in town (we called into the local gardening radio show to ask!). It’s possible that xeriscaping the lawn would pay for itself pretty quickly given the costs of yard clean-up, mowing, and watering. I don’t know. Problems: 1. The HOA may not approve. 2. We may still be stuck with a weeding nightmare because the weeds here are insane. 3. We’re kind of on a hill (very small hill) which means the lawn isn’t conducive to just being paved over. (DH has always wanted plaza.) 4. If we ever move or go on sabbatical, the xeriscaped lawn might be a liability (and we’ll have a hard time pulling it out and replacing it with sod after all the expense of putting it in). 5. $$$. (I’m not sure how much, but it sounds like a lot!) There are very few xeriscaped lots in our town and they’re mostly small (not corner) lots with lots of mature trees providing huge shade cover.
Anyway, I don’t know what to do. The lawn is a huge hassle. We hate it. We hate taking care of it. We hate paying people to accidentally mow down our bushes and trees and then over-charge us for the privilege of doing so. We’re worried about the expense and outcome and time spent trying to re-design everything. *Sigh*.
So, that’s my lawn rant. Thoughts?