Suburban Pioneers

The Adventures and Misadventures of Homesteading in 21st-Century America

Sarah: Dashed Hopes May 15, 2013

Filed under: Gardens & Compost — suburbanpioneers @ 4:32 am
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Since Lauren owned up to her Suburban Pioneering failures in her previous post, I thought I should come clean as well.  It’s not always smooth sailing around here.


I was really excited about this yard tool that we inherited second-hand:



What a beautiful and simple piece of machinery!  No fumes, no gas-guzzling engine, no complicated parts–I thought it was the perfect suburban pioneering solution until I could manage to kill the lawn (which I’m still working to do–more on that to come).  After all, this lawnmower wouldn’t contribute to fossil fuel usage or CO2 emissions.

It seemed the ideal way to keep the weeds at bay…

…until we returned from a vacation to a foot-high crop of dandelions.


Mowing our small front yard and mowing a large swath of calf-high weeds in the back are apparently two vastly different things.  I had to run over the plants four times with the push mower to cut them down.  The back yard is only a quarter of the way finished, and I have already worked out all work and child-rearing frustrations.  I have also worked out all of my arm and back muscles.

The mower is still sitting in the backyard, and I am not.  I am sitting down at the computer to tell you that there are reasons we have developed tools beyond scythes and reel push mowers. Another ideal has been mowed down, if you’ll pardon the pun.

Despite this setback, I am not so easily deterred.  The dandelions may have won this skirmish, but their time is short.

In the meantime, does anyone know of a gas-guzzling, extra-loud, fume-belching mower I can borrow?


12 Responses to “Sarah: Dashed Hopes”

  1. cathy Says:

    Sarah… I have never tried one of those mowers, but I have a simplier tool… It’s a weed digging stick .you push it in next to the dandilion and pop it up from the root. I have literally crawled all over my yard ay old house our first year there and knocked them down. We didn’t use chemicals…just muscle… (too cheap and usually pregnant or nursing. The digging mania the first year really helped and you get all the root and prebuds. This year at our new house (with a much bigger yard) I have been obsessed. I have filledu

    • cathy Says:

      Oops. I have filled up 48 bags ay last count (and each bag held about 200 dandelion plants (thats what you do when you dig dandelions… You count, pray, or think, make it a game) My kids springtime chore is th pick flowers to keep the yellow heads from seeding before I could get there. It is labor intensive, but actually nice to feel I was making a difference naturally In my yatd. My kids are absolutely forbidden to blow a dandilion in our yard or neighbors yard, but they can fully enjoy th.eir dandelion pleasures at the park. This is the only area of my life that I seem OCD… But our yard is green and not yellow (or white puffy). I have heard they are healthy greens, but I can’t bring myself to eat them..I don’t want to see them as desirable. Is suggest some grass seed to put down. It amazing how splotchy the ground looks when all the green weeds are gone. Hopefully next year the most of our work will be done. We’ll see. Good luck. I’d take your friend up on the goat

  2. Haha! I can just imagine you creeping about your yard on hands and knees after all those dandelions! That’s dedication! I thought about digging ours out, but frankly my real objective is to not have much of a lawn at all (maybe just a small strip for kids and pets to play), and then it won’t matter if there are some dandelions in it. Mostly I just need to keep the weeds down until I can complete the lawn-i-cide project. I wish you the best of luck in your dandelion hunt, however!

    • lkcook20 Says:

      Maybe you should do the mulch technique where you cover the grass/weeds with newspaper, straw, grass clippings, and weed barrier cloth. That’s my vote; no muss, no fuss. . . and less sweat.

  3. Karol Says:

    Wow, this paragraph is nice, my younger sister is analyzing such things, so I am going to let know her.

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