April is when moderate temperatures and regular rain conspire to make me dare to dream of a perfected lawn. And then every August, weeks of inadequate rain and blast-furnace heat leave that dream withered.
It doesn’t even bug me much that most of the yard has turned a shade of greenish-brown. That should come back to life by late September, and in the meantime my lawn looks no worse than most of the rest on the block.
(The neighbors who had sprinkler systems installed, something we are too cheap to do, live farther down the street or around the corner.)
But I could do without seeing cracks spread across large expanses of the yard. Since these signs of drought happen in the same place, they represent my annual reminder that I didn’t do enough to cultivate a thicker lawn when I had the chance in the fall or spring.
The “hell strip” between the sidewalk and the street appears even worse, with more than half of it overrun by weeds anxious to demonstrate why yard grass should be selected out by this climate. (At least the heat and dryness seem to have taken some of the fight out of the Tree of Hell seedlings that invade the front lawn every July.) I should dig out the entirety of that strip and either re-seed it from scratch or put in some abuse-tolerant ground cover.
But as I type this, the thermometer on the front porch is showing about 94 degrees, and I just can’t be bothered. It’s August. All of this can wait.