Do people in Seattle get irked with their weather guys when they say “it’s going to be sunny this weekend” and it rains? In a place where rain is the norm and warm sunny days are a luxury, are the weather forecasters ever wrong when they say “There is a 50% chance of precipitation, today” and the sun shines instead, or are they only wrong when they predict sunny weather?
The reason I ask these questions is because every time the forecast states a good chance for rain in our area of Florida, it rarely pans out (at least this year). I know, I know…who can bitch about warm sunny days? Well, I can! I am dying for an all day thunderstorm which is about as rare as winning the lotto in these parts.
Then there is the problem of this thick and temper mental Floratam (or St. Augustine) turf that is considered grass down here. It doesn’t necessarily feel great under foot, but when it’s babied, it looks like 5” thick plush carpeting. There are a couple other turf options in Florida that people use, one is a breeding ground for fleas—probably because there is more sand in that grass, and the other was suppose to be the “green,” and drought tolerant breed to end the reign of floratam (no pun intended). I beg to differ, we have both the “green” variety and St. Augustine, and they both require a considerable drink regularly to stay strong, healthy and pretty. (As do I when I illegally turn on the sprinklers outside of our alotted time frame)
There are several dark sides to grass in Florida. One is the state mandated water rationing.—only allowing two days a week to water, the next one is that most lawns need more water that this in order not to die, unless a person lives on top of old swamp land. We live on what used to be orange groves—pretty sandy. This lovely turf is a hybrid some jackass developed most assuredly because it looks cool, because it certainly wasn’t for its hardiness and drought tolerance. There are about a gazillion weeds that are a thousand times tougher that this turf and they make it their main mission to claim jump St. Augustine’s real estate. Some arrive when there has been too much water, and others sneak in when there isn’t enough–Crab grass, nut sedge, Bermuda grass are just a few of them. Do NOT be deceived by their names—they are not grass, and I certainly don’t feel like I am in Bermuda when I walk out front and see it growing in the yard. Crab grass is fairly appropriately named because it creeps. It’s quite sinister and sneaky, too, as it looks quite similar to floratam sod, until it gets really big and strong, then it just looks like a grassy octopus, so none of these weeds are useful for creating a new lawn if we just sit back and watch them choke out the original grass.
We water more than we’re supposed to. Mostly because if we don’t, and the grass goes brown, it doesn’t simply grow back when the rainy season hits (if it hits). It’s dead, and needs to be totally re- sodded (not seeded—that would be too easy.) We break the rules to maintain our investment, not our property values. Our neighbors on both sides of us and the real estate crash of 2006 took care of that.
This is why we would like to string up the weather forecasters in our area for their lousy predictions. Seriously, who else gets paid (in some cases ridiculous amounts of money) to do their job without accuracy?
It amazes me, too, that people move here, put in lovely landscapes, and think they are done. Ahhh? The lawn needs mowing, edging, fertilizing (and I don’t mean having your child poop in the front yard) every couple months, and WATER! The flowerbeds need weeding and pruning as well as the trees. These things don’t just maintain themselves. I have neighbors that have replaced their yards three times in 10 years—isn’t this the definition of insanity?—doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result? There are financial and time investments if you’re going to own a single family dwelling! If that doesn’t really appeal to you, there are a stupid amount of town houses and condos down here! Seriously! Did that never cross anyone’s mind?
Okay, I’m done with my rant.