Tuesday, November 3, 2009

California Grass & UPDATE

Day Eleven Update on Attila's Son: "Today the docs are going to try to switch him back to the bi-level ventilator. This will be a big step in the right direction." Click HERE for a full report. And please, continue to send prayers and kind words. Thanks, xo Joanna


California has weird grass, or at least my grass in California is weird and the same goes for many of my neighbors. We have what I call "poop grass" and it has nothing to do with the kind of grass you smoke, if you catch my drift.

Every year, starting in early October, our perfectly fine green grass starts getting big brown patches that seem to appear over night. The grass dies regardless how much we water or how perfect the weather conditions are for growing. It's like this every single year and, despite asking countless times, I have no idea what's up with the grass.

When the brown spots start appearing, the "Poop Grass Guy" - aka The Gardener, appears-- usually in mid-October, and cuts all the grass super short. Then he turns the water off so the grass is completely dead within a couple of days. The gardener then returns and rakes up all the dead grass.

Here's the nasty part. The next step in the process is to spread huge amounts of eye-watering, stink to high heaven, fertilizer-- translation-- cow poop-- all over the yard. Grass seed goes on top and the sprinklers are turned back on to water daily for a couple of weeks. Within about three weeks, we have beautiful, green grass again-- Along with a $425 bill, but at least the smell is gone.

And therein lies the problem.

First, Gardener and I have battled over why WE need poop grass when half the neighborhood does not. I've requested changing to the non-smelly grass, no matter what the cost, but he insists-- Once poop grass, always poop grass.

The second problem is, and continues to be, the timing of the poop grass process. I do not want darling trick-or-treaters traipsing across the yard through the "fertilizer" on Halloween so I insist he either spread the poop in early October or after October 31st.

Which beings me to my current poop grass dilemma-- Beloved's upcoming birthday party. It seems Gardener is behind schedule this year and even though I've been telling him about the November 14th birthday party for four months, and the need for no poop smells of any kind, he still has not started the stinky process on our yard-- But he swears he's about to get the job started. That means in 11 short days, 50 people will arrive at our front yard and ask the exact same question...

Ewwww, what is that awful smell?" Just the way you want to greet your guests for a festive evening, huh?

What's a girl to do?

I can make the house smell good-- The simplest trick for that is to saute onions-- which I'll have been doing for days in preparation of the dinner. But the outside-- The front door entrance and the back yard where the bar will be located-- There is not enough onions-- or booze, in the world to knock out the smell of three inches of cow poop spread across your entire yard.

Yes, we are fortunate to have a gardener who handles things like this so I don't have to get my pretty little hands covered in cow dung, but, at this point in time, all the grass in my yard, front and back is DEAD and if I don't get my cow poop when the Poop Guy is available, I'll be spreading the poop myself and that will not be a pretty picture.

So, I'm taking bets Gardener will show up the day before the party with a mountain of cow poop to spread. And I'm guessing Los Angeles will experience a record high temperature that day so the yard is nice and "ripe" for our guests. And I'm guessing the poop jokes will be flying right and left at the party-- along with the flies.

All I can do is laugh.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Do you have any party plans for the rest of the year?
Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna
Photo Credit: James Murphy

61 comments:

  1. That is the most horrifying story I've ever heard. I would be completely flipping out. Are you doing penance for some major sin in your past life? No, don't tell....but it just doesn't seem fair. I can imagine the smell must be like the horrible fragrance driving down I5 near the stockyards. You can smile it for miles, ESPECIALLY in hot weather.

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  2. I hope for the sake of your party that the gardener gets the job done ASAP! Is the "poop" process the standard procedure for your area, or is there an alternative if you used a different gardener?

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  3. Poop Grass! Oh Jesus.

    And I thought I had it bad.


    I'm thinking your gardner uses Milorganite. Cow poop. Or maybe just brings it fresh from the farm.

    Regardless, my dear Joanna, nothing compares. So suck it up (clothes pins on the nose help quite a bit), and love the shit out of your new green grass.

    Beloved won't notice.... just make sure he has a beer in each hand.

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  4. You could go with the barnyard theme? For the party? Make everyone dress like their favorite Clampett?

    No. Guess not.

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  5. this cracked me up...and I thought we had grass issues...well, we have nothing compared to you!!!

    ummm....yeah, so good luck with that :)

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  6. Maybe it's a SoCal thing? I'm in NorCal and don't have to do much but water the grass and mow the lawn occasionally. I hope it all works out, I would maybe make plans to have the party at a nice park or beach if you don't know when the poop guy is coming.

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  7. So my husband says that you should put in native grasses like blue fescue or sedges. Natives use less water.

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  8. I could never understand the kind of gardening that is done here in LA. Perhaps because we are fighting the desert all the time, we need some radical gardening techniques. Or because we are too stuborn to accept the native plants that are perfectly ajusted to this climate?

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  9. Oh what a stinkin' dilemna! Other than that I only take the upcoming season one holiday at a time.....so far I am hostessing a small Thanksgiving dinner. I love Thanksgiving... and .. good luck with your poop! (smiling) xoxo

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  10. I never heard of "poop" grass! Sucks I hope it doesn't ruin your party!

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  11. I can't help it but laugh with you.

    Your guests will too...so don't worry, keep on laughing.

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  12. I've never heard of poop grass either, probably because it does nothing but rain here!

    What about horse poop? Doesnt stink as much as cow poop.

    Perhaps towels to wrap around ones nose. Could make it a fancy dress party?

    Good luck with all the poop, hope it gets sorted!

    Love RMxx

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  13. Why do I think Gardner is snowing you to keep his income streaming in? There are certain grasses that go dormant, zoysia being one of them. If he cuts the grass short and seeds on top of it, when the dormant grass awakens, it just overtakes his weak ass winter grass. (that rhymed!)

    If his cow poop fiesta coincides with Beloved's, you could always hand out clothespins as little party favors and make the best of it.

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  14. Sounds like there isn't enough time to have green lush grass in time for the party, so if it were me I would so prefer dead grass on the day of the party versus manure lawn. Can't you schedule the fertilizer frenzy for after the party?

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  15. I agree with TechnoBabe, he should come after the party, there is a green spray you can spray on yur grass to make it look green...might be a little tacky, but what the hell laugh anyway.

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  16. Holy smoke/poop !
    I just threw a big Halloween party and worried that my house was smelling a little stuff after being closed up while we were away... but your problem isn't one that could be solved with the careful placement of scented pumpkin pie candles!

    I hope you at least got some good poop jokes out of it! :-)

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  17. Ha! That's why I don't have any grass. I have lots and lots of trees, and I just let nature's gardener take care of my yard any way it wants.

    I'm with PJ on this one - I think your gardener is stealing your money. Different types of grass go dormant at different times of the year, so planting a mix of perennial grasses with different dormant cycles should give you a green lawn all year around. But what do I know? I don't have any grass, and my yard is covered with snow like 9 months out of the year, so my two cents on the subject is probably only worth about a penny.

    Anyway, I hear "weird" grass is legal in California for medicinal purposes - maybe you could just plant some of that, harvest it a few times a year and use it to pay the gardener.....

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  18. While this is a funny, albeit bittersweet, post, I would absolutely refuse to believe that said gardener (or some other gardener) couldn't come up with a better plan to plant grass! Absolutely refuse!!

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  19. Oh poor you, uck! Either sack the gardiner and lay rolls of turf - or prepare to smear Eucalyptus vaseline up each guests nostril as they cross the threshold!

    I am sure the party will be a blast, either way.

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  20. I'm inclined to agree with PJ and Gaston Studio. Those brown spots might either be the natural cycle of the grass or you might have grubs or some similar critter doing its thing. If you're not locked into a long-term contract with this Gardner, why not shop around?

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  21. Sounds like a lot of hog-wash to me... the "once poop grass, always poop grass". Have you ever checked with another gardener/lawn service and sought a 2nd and even 3rd opinion??

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  22. Good thing you´re keeping your humor on this matter! Even if you probably don´t feel like laughing!

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  23. Do you have zoysia grass on your lawn? Zoysia grass is nice and thick and lush green in spring summer, but once fall and winter arrive, it turns brown.

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  24. Forget the poop this year. Grass is resilient and won't mind not being pooped on this once.

    Birthday parties? Yes - turning 50 in December and my best friend is organizing a party because I'm too lame to do so.

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  25. That's great! Sometimes all you can do is laugh,....

    I myself have a super fun 5yr old birthday to plan and treats and a cake to make, We love Birthdays in my house! Then is the natural hoildays that follow, and I am looking forward to all of them!

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  26. You crack me up!!! Having been in farming most of my life, I can tell ya, pig poop is a LOT worse than cow poop! Or be glad it isn't chicken poop!!!

    I'm sure the party will be a huge success!!! Onions, poop and all!

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  27. Blame it on El Nino...and ply them with alcohol!

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  28. Are you sure your not dealing with a fungus that only needs treatment?
    Or, Maybe that gardener is sneaking around at night pouring something toxic on your grass to drum up business!

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  29. Haaahaaha! Poop grass! Here on the Ponderosa we always get a whiff of the cow manure when the cows are close. What a perplexed situation for your party though. I was so afraid that the La' Pew family would dart out among the tables and guests at our Fourth of July bash this year. I really held my breath!

    I'm so glad you can laugh, that's what I do when ya can't do anything else. Have a great day and sure hope your gardener comes. If I were close I would help 'cause I used to make pies out of the stuff!

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  30. Honest! Pop grass is all over Los Angeles, it's not just me and my gardener. It's just the way it is around here.

    But I do have one neighbor who just put in the "eco-friendly fake grass" and it looks REALLLY nice. You'd never know it was fake looking at it or feeling it. Maybe that's what I should do. Fake grass means no more poop :-)

    Thanks for your advice. Keep those cards and letters coming. I love hearing from you! xo

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  31. just keep laughing...there will be no doubt about where they have been the night of the party...lol.

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  32. Can you not go to Lowes or HomeDepot and have them tell you what is good grass seed for you all and then just till the yard and spread regular grass seed. That is awful having to spend over $400 each year on your yard.

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  33. Have you ever considered the possibility that your gardener could be the culprit? Using a lawn mower used on other lawns which have the fungus could easily transfer it to your lawn. We have experienced brown patch as well, and my hubby uses a product called Fungaway that he has had success with. Using this could possibly prevent the transfer if it does come from a contractor's machinery. I know it's too late for this year, but it's worth a shot possibly in the future. Good luck with the stench!! :-)

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  34. i went to midle school in Oxnard, was bussed up from a mobile home park o PCH. EVERY Fall the celery field woul dbe spread with chicken poop fertilizer. It was soemthing one never got used to.

    wishing you all the right timing on your party. Happy birthday to your hubs, my fellow scorpio bud.

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  35. A dessert theme is replacing grass here. People are just putting rocks and dessert plants that require very little water in their yards. I'm not sure that would work for you in your neighborhood but it would solve the smelly problem.

    Maybe you could find some grass for people to smoke and no one will even mind the smell. Isn't pot legal in CA?

    Happy birthday to your hubby and many, many more!

    Hugs!!

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  36. Yeah, I'd just go with it. Make the comments and jokes before anyone else gets a chance to...

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  37. As a fellow "poop grass" owner, I'm feeling your pain.....;-)

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  38. I'm surprised your gardener can't find non smelly poop fertilizer, they must have that somewhere by now.
    Thanks for keeping us updated on Attila's son.

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  39. I've never heard of such a thing. Poop grass. This almost makes SNOW worth tolerating by comparison!

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    By the way, please visit my blog. There's a surprise waiting for you!

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  41. I'm not sure where in Cali you live, but here in upper northern Cali, we don't seem to have the poop grass problem. I do sympathize with you though. Probably not a good time to pi$$ of the gardner...party or no party.

    I liked Oh My Goddess's idea of a theme party. Maybe each guest could bring a box of poop to spread. Kinda the if ya can't beat 'em, join 'em path of least resistence.

    Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog the other day. Yours is quite wonderful.

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  42. The grass will not be grown up for the party either way, so just push the poop grass man back a couple of weeks!

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  43. There are many times since we met that I've been envious of you and your life out there in LA La Land...today is not one of those times.

    Thank you for liberating me.

    Snarky Sister....she who lives where the grass is green and smells like grass unless it's dry for a really long time and I refuse to water but that's a story for another time...yeah, where the grass is green and smells like, well, grass. Who could imagine?

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  44. Girl, I sure hope you aren't the one to spread the poop grass. I also pray for a very windy day so that you have the fumes go down wind.

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  45. you can always be one up on him and get that artificial grass before he comes over!

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  46. Poop grass? Fake grass? You crazy Californians... :)

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  47. Sorry about your poopy grass..lol. THanks for popping by today

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  48. I have never in my life heard about such a thing as poop grass.

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  49. Three words:

    Japanese Rock Garden.

    ;)

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  50. This is too funny! I've never read the word poop so many times in one post. Or anything for that matter. I went to college in a town that had feedlots on the outskirts and on the days they moved the cows around it was the most disgusting smell.

    Good luck with the party;)

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  51. Oh J you are a hoot!! Well you know the old saying turn lemons into lemonade so either I would start the party down the block serving drinks along the way so the time your guests arrive to your home they won't remember smelling a thing. Or have a party theme of "Old McDonald"! xoxo

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  52. You are hilarious!

    My husband's birthday and one of my best friend's birthdays are both coming up this month. I've got my work cut out for me...

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  53. What I really meant to say was...Oh, CRAP!

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  54. I sympathize with you. My husband has zero smelling senses. I mean, he can't smell anything. One year, he bought a truck load of mulch for his landscaping projects from the city compost department. I smelled him driving down the road a block away. He proudly put it all around our property. It not only smelled like poop. It smelled like it came from animals that had the flu!!! I didn't make eye contact with any of my neighbors for 3 or 4 weeks because that's how long it took for the stench to die down.

    Suggestion: Maybe you can hand out clothes pins as party favors. Then if the smell gets unbearable, your guests will have something to put over their noses. LOL!

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  55. I'm rolling on the floor with the Poop grass! I'm thinking the methane gas will certainly keep things hot & spicy at the party! I know out here in the boonies, they do that process to whole fields..acres and acres. The smell wafts for miles...I can only imagine having it so close to your house...ugh!

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  56. I'd seriously want to know why once poop grass always poop grass. Would burning incense help?

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  57. OMG, sorry but that's something that I can picture vividly...and smell in my mind. So funny. Hopefully it worked out.

    I like the onion idea!

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