|Do they all do the same thing?|
I stayed with my brother-in-law for a few months after my sister had died. I enjoyed being in the fresh air out in the country; he was 10 miles outside of Kingston. However, like most people who own a lawn, he was maniacally enslaved to cutting it once a week and though my sister was now part of the garden, his 39 years of marital conditioning, or rather, his innate ability to take orders from a woman, compelled him to continue mowing it once a week. Watching him as he sweat in the midday sun, I would sympathetically pass him out a beer as he swooped around the front of the house. I convinced him to let the damn grass grow a little longer, but guilt is stronger than critical thinking and soon enough he would be back out there, my sister's ghost driving him to mow the lawn and tend to the garden, which very soon was neglected. Old habits are impossible to crush, unless you move and re-marry, which he finally did.
My brother-in-law drove me crazy with his lawn mower, but even worse was his neighbor, who drove me crazy with all the noise from his power tools. He almost ruined the summer. It made me wonder....
Since when did taking care of lawns become so complicated? What happened to good old tools like shovels, clippers, rakes and hoes? It's hard to enjoy summer anymore without being driven crazy by the whirring of lawnmowers, edgers, chainsaws, trimmers, or weeders, or some other piece of equipment that’s become a neighborhood blight. Take a look at all the stuff that we need today just to get the seeds in, keep the grass down and drive our old-fashioned neighbors to the mad house.
If you’re putting in a new lawn, there are sod cutters, turf slitters, square turf doctors, sod pluggers and turf transplanters, hexagon turf doctors and hex pluggers to help you get started. After that you’ll need seed slotters, portabel seeders and spreaders, or, large capacity hand spreaders.
That takes care of the lawn. But if you want to do the edge of your lawn you’ll need lawn edgers and trenching tools, or the dual wheel grass edgers and curved trimming scissors.
Will the weeds come back? If the little bastards try, you’ve got the weed twister that pushes, twists or pulls them out by their neck out of the ground. Or if that doesn’t work, there’s the electro-weed killer that doesn’t use chemicals gas or propane, it uses electricity to thrash the weed out of the ground by heating the root and the root crown, leaving the weed to kill it. And finally, the real big cheese of the garden is the gutsy weeder that stabs and cleanly mutilates weeds with a 3” carbon steel blade angled to slice off their heads as it ploughs in with the inside edge. These tools sound like assault weapons. Has anybody checked out the safety of this stuff?
For those who still like to use chemicals (cause let’s face it chemicals really work) there’s the weed ‘no drift’ applicator which makes short work of your herbicide application and eliminates spray drift which can poison your neighbors. Drive them insane with the noise, but don’t gas them.
Next - the rakes. There are screening rakes, beach rakes, duel-purpose rakes, field rakes, deluxe ground rakes, super leaf rakes, shrub rakes, spot rakes and snow roof rakes, bunker and sand debris rakes, spring brace rakes, de-thatching rakes (one prong and four prong), professional landscape rakes, pro-turf lute rakes with a 66” handle and for all the golfers – sand trap rakes, surface lake rakes and yes, finally, your basic clean-up rake.
For all those who don’t have enough tools in the shed, you’ve got accessories: utility movers, utility wagons, e-z reachers for the yard, deck flossers, lawn garden carts, water brooms, garden bags and folding utility carts.
For all those special jobs there are eradication spray systems, compost aerators, pond balance algae, plant caddies, heavy duty wheel locks, boot wheel locks, garden water filtration systems, horticultural sprayers, slug pots, a compost tea brewer and the compost tea catalyst.
The lawn mower, the dullest tool in the shed, is now the electric mower, the robotic mower, the reel mower, the lawn stripper and the cordless mower.
If you’re into landscaping, there are brush cutters, electric chain saws, grass trimmers, hedge and branch trimmers, lawn edgers, leaf blowers, leaf sweepers, rakes and de-thatchers, tree pruners and push sweepers. What’s a push sweeper? Is that what they used to call a broom?
All this mojo is just for the lawn. Since when did we need so many tools to help us dig a hole, plant seeds, cover them with dirt, add some water and tear out a few weeds? We've got too many choices in life. Let's cut down on the crap we buy and send to the landfills because they're getting a little full.