Posted by on April 15, 2020

Rachel Carson would be so angry with me.

After years of keeping her best-selling investigative book, “Silent Spring,” in a storage box I finally read it last year.  It wasn’t the juicy indictment I expected on those who abuse the environment.  Rather it was a fairly dry indictment on those who abuse the environment.  She plunged so deeply into the use of specific pesticides, herbicides, and other poisons, naming each one, that I came away thinking I had just read an in-depth inventory of the Monsanto warehouse.

However, the one take-away that I got was: sprays = not good.

That’s why, when I determined to improve the look of my lawn this year, I did (so sorry, Dr. Carson) buy three bottles of a Bayer product designed to kill over 250 kinds of weeds.  Two hundred and fifty!!  My biggest fear was that I would have no lawn left because, in all honesty, there are many more weeds than grass that comprise what I call a lawn, including clover, crab grass, and dandelions.  Hey, they’re green, and they look good after mowing them all to the same height.

The lawn treatment comes in a bottle that attaches to the end of a garden hose and then (whispering: “sprays”) the chemical on the lawn.  I wanted the treatment only for the areas of my lawn that are close to the street so that the curb appeal was upped.  If truth be known, I had very low expectations that this product would be as effective as it touted itself to be, based on my past experience with these kinds of products.

The 250-plus weeds that it would kill were listed in about a 2-point font on the tiny paper that was glued to the bottle and had to be scraped off with a putty knife, weeds I never knew existed.  Well, I have news for the Bayer people.  I have about 32 kinds of weeds that their product doesn’t even touch.  Are they listed among the 250-plus others on the bottle?  How would I know?  I’m not a botanist.  Except for the Bermuda grass, clover, and dandelions that are part of the mini-botanical garden I call a lawn, I have no idea what the other things are, except that they seemed not to be affected by the treatment.

It took about three or four days, but I did see an effect on the dandelions.  While the neighbors’ lawns are virtual dandelion nurseries, with fields of little yellow “faces” growing heartily, I have no dandelions now.  I did notice, however, that before those weeds gave up the ghost, they turned prematurely seedy in a valiant effort to propagate, ensuring future generations of dandelions in my lawn.

While I would never go to extreme measures to try to create a grass-only lawn, I thought the Bayer treatment was a reasonable attempt to eliminate the more obnoxious weeds.  One neighbor complimented me yesterday, which made me feel good.

I just hope I didn’t contribute too heavily to the deterioration of the environment.  Someday Rachel Carson will let me know, I’m sure.

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