I grew up with 5 brothers and a sister and we would play outside any chance we could get. My dad grew wonderful grass. He would regularly be working on the water system, fertilizing it and keeping it green and growing. I did not inherit the skillset from him.
I’ve lived in the same home in Utah for 8 ½ years. I pride myself on being a do-it-yourself type of guy and over the years I have done a lot of work on the house. One year, I built a very impressive tree-house. Another year, I built shelving in my garage to make it easier to organize my tools. Project after project, the house has become more of me each year that I live in it. I take personal pride in the work I do and the ability I have to fix stuff around the house. But there’s been one consistent challenge since the 1st summer I moved in. My lawn seems to hate me. At least it did.
The first problem was with the original owner. He loved gravel. It was everywhere. There was a rock drive-way down the side of the house where he parked his camper. As soon as I bought the home I pulled that out and had a sprinkling system installed in the backyard to make it easier to grow grass. But the gravel was still around. Rocks seemed to find their way into my lawn and it took me years to pull all of that out.
Another challenge was learning the best watering schedule for the lawn. Simply put, I didn’t know what I was doing. One year I seemed to over-water, the next I would let it dry out and the hot Utah summers would scorch the yard and it would dry out.
Then there are my 2 dogs, whom I love, but they love to dig holes and run and run. Sadie is a 140 pound Great Dane and Max is 100 pound Boxer/Shepherd mix. They tear up the yard with reckless abandon. I had a childhood with gardens, and green grass all around me so I have always had this desire to master this challenge. It didn’t seem like it was ever going to come together.
Until this year. I was determined in the spring to master my lawn and keep it green, lush and growing all summer. I read magazines, online blogs, and tips, asked the Home Depot workers for their thoughts and set out to do it right. But the problem was, I had tried all of that last year and still scorched it. So this year I decided to take my own advice I give new stock and options traders and I asked for help.
My neighbors are retired. They have the most immaculate yard on the entire street. It’s pristine and colorful. So one day in the spring, I saw Dick out smoking one of his parliament cigarettes and walked over and simply asked him. “Dick, can you teach me how to keep my grass alive.” And we had a great conversation. We talked about water schedules at different times of the year, fertilizer schedules, preferred mowing height based on the weather and all kinds of things. But one thing he told me really stood out – he said I have to work on it consistently. Dick became my mentor. My lawn mentor. And it made all of the difference in the world. I wouldn’t say it’s the best yard on the street, but for the 1st year in a long time, I don’t have a huge patch of dead grass. I have a lawn that is well taken care of and one that I can take pride of.
For me to reach my goals – which I know for some of you it may seem silly that my goal is to grow a lush lawn – I had to get a mentor. I had to suck up my pride and ask for help.