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Re: Turf war?


Right about the business approach but it also pushes an attitude that
gardening is just appropriate for hire...I remember in the 70's when
"Looking out for Number One" hit the best seller list for weeks...I think
it reinforced the very selfish approach to life...

When I am asked for advice, I always ask if the person likes to garden, how
much time they want to spend, what seasons they like to garden...and go
from there.  

I don't like lawn that much...so I gradually reduced my mowing with borders
and island beds until I know can knock out the mowing in 30 minutes.  I
leave my dandelions...keep thinking of how they were brought here by our
pioneers as they were the first edible green after winter...also, that
their reproduction is just by cloning so if they become susceptible to some
disease or insect, it's curtains for the species.


> [Original Message]
> From: james singer <islandjim1@verizon.net>
> To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
> Date: 4/30/2006 8:32:53 PM
> Subject: Re: [CHAT] Turf war?
>
> My guess is you're right, Kitty. Interesting that even as Galbraith 
> dies, we continue to be bombarded by ads for things we didn't know we 
> needed.
>
> On Apr 30, 2006, at 7:29 PM, Kitty wrote:
>
> > Bonnie, that article, (ha! a Dow Jones reprint, yet!) is all about 
> > business. Lawns aren't that difficult to maintain if you'll accept 
> > nice, but less than perfect.  I fertilize once, sometimes twice, a 
> > year, dig out dandelions, and my lawn looks fine.  Admittedly that's 
> > after I spent a little time whipping it into shape.  However, the lawn 
> > described in the article has been sorely neglected and sounds to be 
> > more weeds than lawn.  That's how mine was when we bought the place.  
> > We ripped it out and reseeded.  Hired a lawn service for one year, but 
> > after they killed our roses, decided it would be better to do it 
> > ourselves.  It's not hard and you don't need all those chemicals and 
> > certainly not 7 treatments.  You notice they didn't mention whether 
> > Gerry had kids and how they might react to all that nasty stuff being 
> > sprayed on the lawn.
> >
> > That article was just a little creative advertising piece for the lawn 
> > service industry, that's all.  And it will probably work.  Mind you, 
> > lawn services are important, I just think that many of them are 
> > overzealous.
> >
> >
> > Kitty
> > neIN, Zone 5
> > ----- Original Message ----- From: "Bonnie & Bill Morgan" 
> > <wmorgan972@ameritech.net>
> > To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
> > Sent: Sunday, April 30, 2006 5:58 PM
> > Subject: RE: [CHAT] Turf war?
> >
> >
> >> They neglect, in the article, to mention the benefits of doing such 
> >> things
> >> yourself, such as exercise, family chore times together, fresh 
> >> air.... Too
> >> bad, too.
> >>
> >> Blessings,
> >> Bonnie (SW OH - zone 5)
> >>
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: owner-gardenchat@hort.net [mailto:owner-gardenchat@hort.net] On 
> >> Behalf
> >> Of Bonnie Holmes
> >> Sent: Sunday, April 30, 2006 5:26 PM
> >> To: gardenchat@hort.net
> >> Subject: [CHAT] Turf war?
> >>
> >> Thought you might find this interesting...perhaps articles like these
> >> encourage people to think that "gardening" is a waste of time and 
> >> that a
> >> "service" gives them more free time.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> FISCALLY FIT
> >> By TERRI CULLEN
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> DOW JONES REPRINTS
> >>
> >>
> >> This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To order
> >> presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients
> >> or customers, use the Order Reprints tool at the bottom of any article
> >> or visit:
> >>
> >> www.djreprints.com.
> >>
> >>  See a sample reprint in PDF format.
> >>  Order a reprint of this article now.
> >>
> >> Turf War
> >> What's the Most Cost-Effective Way
> >> To Mend the Cullens' Heat-Ravaged Lawn?
> >> April 27, 2006
> >> Last summer's heat wave scorched most of the grass on our lawn, and
> >> Gerry -- disgusted after spending most of the year weeding, watering 
> >> and
> >> tending the grass -- finally gave up, not even bothering to fertilize
> >> last fall. "What's left to feed?" he asked.
> >>
> >> As spring approached, we realized we'd made a big mistake: Our front
> >> lawn now resembles a vacant lot, overrun with weeds of all shapes and
> >> sizes, with the small patches of grass that did recover now under 
> >> siege.
> >> The lawn looks so terrible we should probably just go ahead and put 
> >> one
> >> of our old cars up on cement blocks as a finishing touch. And our 
> >> defeat
> >> has left us wondering whether paying for a lawn-care service makes 
> >> more
> >> sense than continuing to do it ourselves.
> >>
> >> Then there are those who wonder why we bother in the first place.
> >> Gerry's Irish-born dad -- who sold us his home five years ago -- 
> >> doesn't
> >> understand Americans' obsession with having lawns worthy of the 
> >> Masters
> >> tournament. He wonders why Gerry and I waste time and money trying to
> >> grow one. My father-in-law can still recall the day his brother Eamon
> >> visited from Ireland for the first time. Looking at the lawn, overrun 
> >> as
> >> usual with dandelions, violets and other flowering weeds, Eamon said:
> >> "Look at all the beautiful flowers!" Over the years Gerry's dad 
> >> bought a
> >> lawnmower just to keep the weeds at bay, but he never spent a dime on
> >> lawn care. After all, he'd say, it's all green.
> >>
> >> We felt differently: Shortly after we moved in, my husband set to work
> >> helping the grass recover from decades of neglect. He spent countless
> >> hours seeding, fertilizing, weeding and liming, and was richly 
> >> rewarded.
> >> By the second year, we had a strong green lawn.
> >>
> >> Which makes this year's disaster so disheartening. After hour upon 
> >> hour
> >> of toiling to keep up our beautiful green lawn, all it took was one
> >> unseasonably hot summer to ruin everything. With all the talk of 
> >> climate
> >> change -- and our own observations of the shifts in weather patterns 
> >> in
> >> our region -- Gerry wonders whether last year's freakishly warm, dry
> >> spell is a sign of things to come. Should he spend another year 
> >> laboring
> >> over the lawn only to have it burn to a crisp again? I sensed that 
> >> he's
> >> beginning to concede that his father may have a point: Why fight 
> >> nature?
> >>
> >> But I'm not willing to lay down arms. I'm the one who has to stand at
> >> the school bus stop -- conveniently located right on the corner of our
> >> property -- with the neighborhood kids' parents. I'm sure they don't
> >> appreciate the eyesore our lawn has become. And weeds beget more 
> >> weeds,
> >> which may migrate to their lawns.
> >>
> >> I also feel we have a responsibility to tend to our property. I grew 
> >> up
> >> in an apartment in Jersey City, where grass was something that grew 
> >> only
> >> in parks. Lush green lawns were found in the suburbs, where people 
> >> like
> >> my aunt and uncle lived. On long summer visits, I'd watch my Uncle Al
> >> meticulously care for his lawn and my cousins mow the grass as part of
> >> their chores. I admired Al's hard work, and his house's thriving lawn.
> >> Today, I view well-tended lawns as a sign that people take pride in
> >> their homes.
> >>
> >> Lately we've been receiving offers in the mail from lawn-care 
> >> companies.
> >> After reading through some of the marketing material, I asked Gerry
> >> whether it would make sense for us to hire someone this year instead 
> >> of
> >> taking on the task ourselves.
> >>
> >> One of the lowest offers we received was from a local lawn-care 
> >> service.
> >> Their free evaluation was ugly: dandelions, crab grass, white clover,
> >> mouse-ear chickweed, onion grass
> >> we've got it all. After an initial
> >> charge of $148, we would pay an additional $51 a treatment (including
> >> seeding, fertilizing and pest control) for seven treatments over the
> >> course of a year, for a total of $505.
> >>
> >> "Too expensive," said Gerry, shaking his head.
> >> But is it really?
> >> In early March I went to Lowe's with Gerry's lawn-care shopping list:
> >> three bags of fertilizer, three bags of heat-resistant grass seed, a 
> >> new
> >> spreader to replace our broken one, and a gallon of spot weed killer.
> >> Total cost: $303.50. The fertilizer alone came to $128. (Granted, we 
> >> use
> >> a premium brand.)
> >>
> >> When I got home I showed Gerry my receipt and asked how he could 
> >> claim a
> >> lawn-care service is more expensive than doing it ourselves when I had
> >> just dropped around $300 for the equivalent of two lawn treatments --
> >> and could estimate that our future lawn-care efforts would cost us
> >> around $250 more, bringing the total north of $550.
> >>
> >> Gerry was floored -- and only then did it occur to me that our 
> >> division
> >> of household labor had skewed his understanding of what things cost. 
> >> For
> >> years, it's been my job to buy our lawn-care products, and Gerry's job
> >> to take care of the lawn. Because of our "yours, mine and ours"
> >> approach1 to finances, Gerry had no idea what I was spending on those
> >> products.
> >>
> >> Last week, the lawn-care service representative called back with a
> >> discount offer: We'd be charged $368 for the first year if we signed 
> >> up
> >> within the next 30 days, with the cost increasing to the regular price
> >> next year. Since we'd already spent $303.50, that would boost our
> >> overall cost this year to about $672. I asked if we could pay for just
> >> the five remaining treatments this year, but the representative said 
> >> the
> >> service wouldn't do that, because it would invalidate its guarantee. 
> >> If
> >> we chose to stick with doing it ourselves this year, our total outlay
> >> would be in the neighborhood of $550 for all four treatments -- about
> >> $50 cheaper than the service's initial offer.
> >>
> >> But in addition to our cash outlay, there's the value of Gerry's time 
> >> to
> >> consider. An hour a weekend spent weeding, seeding and fertilizing is
> >> one less hour Gerry has to play catch with our son Gerald, who's 
> >> excited
> >> that his baseball league starts play this month.
> >>
> >> After running through the numbers, Gerry agreed it might make 
> >> financial
> >> sense for us to pay for a service, and he admitted there are plenty of
> >> other things he'd like to do with his time. Still, he couldn't see
> >> paying extra for seven treatments when we'd already paid for the first
> >> two. So we struck a deal: This year he's going to handle lawn care on
> >> his own, but if the lawn doesn't recover, next year we'll consider 
> >> going
> >> with a service.
> >>
> >> How valuable is your time? Does it pay to hire a service to handle
> >> routine tasks such as errand-running, lawn care or house cleaning, 
> >> even
> >> though it costs less to do it yourself? Write to me at
> >> fiscallyfit@wsj.com2
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Bonnie Zone 7/7 ETN
> >>
> >> [demime 1.01d removed an attachment of type image/jpeg which had a 
> >> name of
> >> colhed_fiscally_fit.jpg]
> >>
> >> [demime 1.01d removed an attachment of type image/gif which had a 
> >> name of
> >> g.gif]
> >>
> >> [demime 1.01d removed an attachment of type image/gif which had a 
> >> name of
> >> b.gif]
> >>
> >> [demime 1.01d removed an attachment of type image/gif which had a 
> >> name of
> >> reprintsIcon.gif]
> >>
> >> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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> >
> Island Jim
> Southwest Florida
> 27.0 N, 82.4 W
> Hardiness Zone 10
> Heat Zone 10
> Minimum 30 F [-1 C]
> Maximum 100 F [38 C]
>
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