No Mow No Mas

When I left green New England for dusty New Mexico,  I vowed never to mow again. My motto was “No mow no mas.”

I was fed up with mowing a hilly, half-acre lawn with a push mower. It was a good workout but it took nearly two hours every week for almost half the year.

Beau, our builder in New Mexico, warned us after the sagebrush was stripped from our building site, we could expect noxious weeds to grow. Sagebrush gives off a natural herbicide, which keeps other plants at bay. But not their seeds, which lay dormant forever, it seems.

The asters that bloom are not noxious but they’d take over if I let them. But then there are other plants unfamiliar to this New Englander, like the delicate little plants with small blue flowers that cover much of the cleared land around the house this year. That’s them in the photo above. After they bloom, the plants become furry and stick to your clothes. Or tumbleweed. I have a war with the plant, pulling it out at every stage of its development. I believe I am in the lead on that one.

My new lawn, sort of

Now back to the delicate little plants. I tried yanking them out, which was easier after the heavy rains the past few days. But it would be an impossible task to get them all, because you never can and I don’t have the time.

So I fired up the electric weed trimmer. (Thanks to my co-worker JR for giving me a lesson on how to string the machine.) I started at one section and kept going for hours thanks to the three extension cords I snagged from Hank’s shop. At the end, the open space resembles a lawn although hardly any of it is grass and there are dirt patches. (By the way, I did try spreading grass seed once but the birds got to it.) I can imagine a volleyball net or croquet court out there — but not walking barefoot.

I have a few more hours of trimming today, in two sections. I believe I could keep the weeds down easier if I got a cheap mower, raise it as high as I can to avoid any rocks, and cut them all down. It certainly would be faster than using a weed trimmer and now I am rethinking that pledge.