Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The heat, humidity and time constraints got the better of me

The combination of 90 - 95 degree weather with 90% humidity, making it feel more like 110, combined with time constraints have finally convinced me to outsource the lawn care to a professional.

It was a hard decision being the "budget gardener" used to do everything myself.

The biggest problem I've been experiencing is timing, early mornings, the grass is sopping wet with dew, late afternoons are almost guaranteed to be rainy with wet grass.

My little Neuton battery powered mower works great - when the grass is dry. This has forced me to mow the lawn when its dry, typically after 11am and before 3pm, the very hottest intolerable time of day, when temps are at their highest, the sun is unbearable.

Coupled with this, my lawn is huge, even after replacing huge areas with mixed shrub beds, it still takes me 2-3 hours and that excludes edging.

So, last week Thursday on my vacation I was cutting the lawn at 11am and sweating it out. Recently my neighbour also outsourced his lawn care. I approached the guy and got an estimate and agreed to have my lawn cut every 10 days - St. Augustine grass must be cut frequently, otherwise it grows too long and it becomes terrible to mow.

What I like about this company is that the owner and a partner do the work themselves, not some illegal immigrants, they cut every 10 days and they use a narrower mower that can access remote parts of my now landscaped lawn.

It was a hard decision to fork over some of my budget to take care of this menial task, but I intend to use the time saved to spend more time with my wife and kids and it will free me up to do the gardening things I really enjoy, like propagation new plants, fruit trees to give away as gifts to friends, experiment with grafting, air layering and other techniques.

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