“Your line isn’t straight you better mow it again!” was a common thing I heard from my Dad growing up. You see, we were the house right on the corner that had to have the perfect lawn. You know the kind, straight edges all the way down the sidewalk, dark, thick green diagonal lines. The lawn that the other neighbors always aspired to have. Growing up with my Dad, the grass was always greener. Mainly because we worked to keep it that way.
I found it frustrating paying so much attention to the lawn. “Who gives a crap it’s a yard, no one looks at this,” I always thought when he asked me to edge the front curb one last time. In reality I learned a lot more from my Dad doing lawn care than I ever thought. I learned how to properly plan, follow through, persevere on excessively hot summer days, and clean my tools when I was done.
Well it’s been a few years since I left the house and had to help Dad with the lawn. In fact, it’s been nearly 20 years since I last helped Dad with the lawn at the house I grew up in. Now, I have a house, a son, two dogs, and a lawn of my own. I understand why my Dad cared so much all those years ago. It’s a sense of pride, or fatherly-duty that you have to your house and your yard. Sure, you may have already worked a long day, but the yard still needs mowed.
I am very lucky. My Dad was there to help teach me the ways of the lawn that I am able to use today. Even now that he lives in an apartment and no longer has a lawn of his own, he checks in on me to make sure I am doing it up to code. Every week I give him a call to let him know I am mowing, watering, fertilizing or something else to make sure the lawn is perfect. He lets me take the lead since it’s my lawn but will always offer a bit of advice to make sure I keep my lawn up to the Clark Lawn Status.
Now my son is 6 and starting to learn about the lawn. He sits with grandpa as I mow the lawn in the perfect diagonal line, edge the sidewalk, sweep the walkway, and then clean up all my tools before putting them away. He hears from grandpa why we do things a certain way, and that you have to work hard to keep a nice lawn.
Green lawns don’t just happen. They take a lot of care, fertilizer, water, and hard work. They take knowledge passed down from one generation from another. Sometimes they take a couple hundred hours of Lawn Care Nut videos on YouTube. Mostly, I have found is it takes pride and the willingness to just get the job done.
Thankfully, my son and I have a great lawn care dad/grandpa to guide us down the straight diagonal green line and show us the way to being better Lawn Care Dad’s in our own time.