The good news is that I have discovered the Zen of yard work. This is a good thing as we have close to an acre of lawn. I sat outside on a little stool and pulled weeds for over an hour this afternoon. The bad news is that every vibrantly green shoot in our yard is apparently a sticker bur. Or at least I think they are. Wouldn't that be a kick in the pants if I was out there systematically pulling up my grass instead of grass-like weeds?
I turned to Google to figure out what I should pull up, but it was surprisingly unhelpful. The photos were all either too far away or too close up to tell me what I really wanted to know. Or they used all Latin. Or just showed the sticker part of the sticker plant and not the plant part. (I actually had the same problem today in trying to identify what looks like the bastard love child of a prairie dog and a weasel that I saw in my yard. All genus, phylum, species. No satisfaction.)
In the end, I went where I almost always go with puzzles I can't figure out: Daddy. He grew up in Wester - on a ranch, no less! - so he was quite familiar with all the things that go stick in the grass. Also? Daddy has the best lawn in his whole neighborhood. Not a weed in sight. You can walk barefoot without fear in his yard - which is my end goal.
Basically, he told me that the types of grasses that grow here put out runners and creep along the ground, so I should pull up anything that was growing taller than its surroundings and sprouted from a single corm. No sweat, right? Okay, this is west Texas, so there's gonna be sweat no matter what, but all the lovely rain we have been getting has sprouted a lush crop weeds as far as the eye can see.
Hoping to avoid maaaaany hours of labor, I looked to the internet again hoping for a chemical solution. And sure, they are out there. But after reading a site or two, I was sure my kids would sprout a second head and start talking out of their navels if I used them. My philosophy is more organic, anyway, so I tried those sites, too. They uniformly recommended that I nourish the soil with sugar (really! plain white table sugar) and pull them as they come up. Does Sam's sell 50 pound bags of sugar?
Sigh. I pulled a packed 3-gallon bucket's worth this afternoon. Just a kazillion more buckets to go!