On June 4, 2013 in Fresno, California there was a referendum to determine whether the city’s residential trash pickup would stay a city-provided service or become privatized. Privatization was voted down. Affected, apparently, are 105,000 residents in all.
What this tells me is that at least that many residents and possibly more have lawns. Now bear in mind this is just in the city and does not include those residing outside what is called the sphere of influence.
On lawn care, there are those private parties that make a living grooming and maintaining lawns, these professionals mostly making service calls on a weekly basis. They frequent with such regularity one could almost set one’s clock or watch by their visits. There is a decisive ordered sequence to their routines: first there is edging, followed by mowing and then rounding out the operation is leaf, no, make that, dust blowing as blowing dust is the giveaway here.
It’s an enormous job just to get the work done. And the job gets done whatever the weather, it seems, as these practitioners of the lawn-grooming trade never miss a beat (or so it would seem). It is what they do.
I understand fully the economics of lawn care done at regular intervals. Not necessarily for the landowners owning the lawns getting maintained, but rather for those making a living doing this type of work. I just don’t see this as a “best practices” scenario in lawn care is all.
This arrangement may be all well and good for others, but I, myself, prefer to do my own yard work. That way I decide what the best time for lawn mowing is. How I would classify such an approach, well, let’s just say it’s “consistently inconsistent” yard care. Nevertheless, it works for me.
Getting down to the nitty-gritty, what it involves is putting the work off until the air quality is either good or reasonably good. This also often means the air temperature is cooler as the two (good air quality and cooler temps) usually go hand in hand. While doing things this way for me may make work more labor-intensive (depending how long the grass goes without cutting or, in other words, how high the grass is), at the end of the day, I know I’m doing what is best for my purposes and what I feel is most beneficial for my lawn.
My preference and what I use to mow the lawn is a cordless electric lawnmower complete with rechargeable battery. Add to this the old standby, a tried-and-true broom-and-dustpan combo I employ to clean up clippings and other yard refuse, both of which help in regards to air quality.
My next lawn care purchase will either be a cordless electric edger or an edger or trimmer in the form of a hand tool with no chords attached, meaning edging or trimming done the old-fashioned way.
Lawns, if not synthetic, require water, obviously, so for summertime watering, this is done automatically and via a programmed schedule.
In the city of Fresno, for instance, for all residences whose addresses end in even numbers, watering is restricted to Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between the hours of 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. Alternatively, for residences whose addresses end in odd numbers, watering is restricted to Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays during the same hours. Disallowed is watering on Mondays. Adhering to this directive means water loss from evaporation is limited.
On my yard, multiple sprinklers in multiple blocks operate automatically and independently of each other. Further, maintaining sprinklers and sprinkler systems to a state of good repair seems a never-ending job, but keeping systems in good working order also means less waste while at the same time ensuring all ground growth gets sufficiently watered, particularly during periods of high summertime heat.
That, in a nutshell, is my “do-it-myself” approach to summer air and lawn care. And probably as “DIM” as “do-it-myself” can get.
– Alan Kandel