Lying dormant on the couch like a clump of crabgrass

“Dormant” is a pleasant word as words go. It has no rough edges or sharp tones. It’s a word a senior citizen can identify with.

My lawn is now dormant. I know this because in my continual search for knowledge, I once read in my hero Bob Beyfuss’s column a description of the dormant stage of grass that frequently occurs at this time of year, usually brought on by a lack of moisture.

This explains why I haven’t had to mow my lawn for almost a week now. My saddle sores from my mower seat are starting to dry up nicely and the humming in my ears due to the sound incurred while running a weed whacker for two or three hours has lessened to a great extent. I can now even hear the slight crunch the dried brown grass makes as I stroll around kicking up little dust clouds as I go.

It’s a pleasant time of the year. The only thing that keeps me from fully enjoying this season is the fact that it doesn’t last long. The first good rain and I’m off and running the mower again.

The problem lies in the fact that my lawn contains almost no real grass. It consists almost entirely of crabgrass, and a particularly hardy type of that perennial plant form at that. I have found nothing capable of destroying this dominant form of local plant life. I suppose I should appreciate the fact that without my crabgrass crop, my lawn would resemble a typical backyard in Saudi Arabia.

It is green and grows, usually at an alarming rate, and does make the yard look from a distance like those lush verdant expanses of greenery they show on The Home and Garden channel. I still suspect that most of those television yards are Astro-Turf or require a full-time gardening crew to eliminate any weed with enough audacity to attempt to grow there.

This dormant time, this rest period for crabgrass, has at least given me time to rethink my gardening plan for the grassy areas of my yard. I think the time has come to stop resisting the opportunity to become filthy rich, live in the style to which I’d like to become accustomed and hire a full-time gardening crew of my own. How, you may ask, is this to be accomplished? I’ll share my idea with you since I’m such a generous soul.

My plan hinges on my limited knowledge of genetics. I know that dwarfism occurs in nature in almost all of the plant and animal species found on Earth today. There are Little People, bonsai trees, miniature horses — all kinds of small things. I firmly believe that somewhere in my yard there is a dwarf version of my crabgrass. I just have to find it and get it to reproduce itself and my fortune is made.

Think of it — the most indestructible form of grass life on the planet in a form that only grew to be an inch high. All the hardiness of a weed with no mowing, I’d be famous. I’d be the idol of all those yard tenders out there who spend their spare time fighting the good fight in their yards on an almost daily basis. All I have to do is find it.

My knees hurt and the neighbors are starting to look askance at me crawling around on the lawn. I got one of those little gardening stools with the wheels on it and my search is much more comfortable.

So far I have found three four-leaf clovers and a very large Japanese beetle, but nothing that even vaguely resembles dwarf crabgrass.

And so the search continues. I’m tired and the sun is pretty hot so I think I’m going to take a clue from my lawn, go inside, get a glass of iced tea and go dormant on the couch for awhile.

Thought for the week — “As you get older three things happen. The first is your memory goes, and I can’t remember the other two.” — Sir Norman Wisdom

Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.

Reach Dick Brooks at

Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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