Before and After photos of my front lawn... a DIY project.
Before and After photos of my front lawn… a DIY project.

Landscaping can be really fun and enjoyable. It’s just like drawing or facebooking. Really. No kidding. Try it, you might just like it. Long before buying our own house, my wife and I talked about the importance of keeping the front yard looking pretty awesome. It’s a way of respecting your HOA, your neighbors, your city and your host state and of course your host country, in my case the USA. For those of you that never heard of HOA, it stands for Home Owners Association. Most neighborhoods/developments in America has such an organization to look out for the interest of the home owners as a unit. If you’re a home owner, I highly recommend you attend the meetings.

By attending the HOA meetings, you allowed yourself a chance of speaking up for or against something that the association is planning to implement or to do in the neighborhood. And you can learn so many things. Didn’t know there are lots of grumpy and I mean really really grumpy home owners out there. lol. My first meeting was a blast until this grumpy old fart came up to talk. And boy he turned everyone’s face reddish in the room, not sure if you’re going to scream at him or feel sorry for him.

The dude has his reasons but he didn’t really have to say it out like that. What he was saying or try to say is that there are more weirdos roaming our neighborhoods because of wannabees that don’t deserve to live in this neighborhood. I kinda skim around the room and saw a few people like myself that can be called wannabees. True sir, we wanted to be just like you, living in a pretty nice neighborhood. But what’s wrong with us wanting to be just like you? What’s so wrong about that? And what proof do you have that these weirdos that you saw came to this neighborhood because of us moving here? I was just like OMG…

This old dude motivated me to a point of joining the HOA leadership team. I had to to show this old grumpy dude that we’re not just some wannabees, we mean business. Hehehe. I talked a Hawaiian man into joining the HOA leadership team so we can show this grumpy dude we’re not going to take his assault laying down. Hahaha. We got to be proactive and shut his Emming mouth up. I made that word up by the way. lol. All in all, everyone in our meeting was very respective and attentively partaking in the discussions. It was a fruitful meeting. I learned a lot and 99% of the people were just very respectful of each other.

Because of what I learned in this meeting and the fact that everyone in my neighborhood took really care of their front yard, I decided to tackle the front yard first. I talked to my neighbors and found that most of them use landscaping companies to take care of their lawn. Two of my immediate neighbors do their own. It took me about a month to think about what to do, then I settled on calling a few landscaping peeps to give me estimates. The very first one was $5,550! The second and third were no better. I kinda wait a little bit and the first dude called back and offered to lower the price to $3,500.

Taking all the numbers down and calculated what I could have bought with that much money, I decided to do it on my own. It didn’t take long before finding myself on youtube for some R&R. Not that, it’s Research and Recommendations. lol. I researched how to do it and what recommended for my region, the Northwest. Found all that info in a matter of minutes.

The first toy I picked off the shelves is an electric aerator. The second was a soft rake and a hard rake. I also bought a hole puncture, not sure what the name was but it has three spikes and a place where you rest your foot and push it down into the dirt. It’s to make holes throughout the front lawn for water drainage and to bring the nutrients down to the roots of the grass. In addition, I bought a seed spreader, two bags of seeds that were NW recommended, a bag of fertilizer and two bags of decomposed. After aeration and puncturing the holes throughout the lawn, I spread a fairly uniform layer of seeds then covered them with decomposed and then spread more seeds and softly raked them into the decomposed. After I put also a uniform layer of fertilizer and water the entire lawn.

Don’t forget to bring out the entire family, just like in the islands, to help you with all you do. It makes it much more fun and for me more easier. lol. If the neighbors offered to help, turn them down. They just want to ask for donuts! Hahaha. Just kidding, kindly say you’re alright so they don’t distract you too much from what you’re doing. If you do it right, your neighbors will love you for it. If you messed up, good luck and get ready to do it all over again.

If you don’t want to do any hard labor and have the money to do it, go ahead and hire the professional landscapers. But be prepare to accept the fact that businesses will do whatever it takes to spend less and make more. This means minimizing their costs by sacrificing what can make your yard better so they can make more money. In fact, all of those landscapers that I spoke to told me in order to turn my grass around to look like my neighbors, it will take a year or two. I proved them wrong! My yard looks much better than my neighbor, the one I pointed to when showing these landscapers my yard. Not after a year or two but after a few weeks!

As you contemplating buying a house or have already owned one, please trust yourself. As an islander, you have the advantage of being a farmer by heart, an explorer by reality, a creative creature by design, and educator by birth. Use your advantages to empower yourself to do good for your sake, your family, your neighbor, your city, your country and your earth. Until next time, take care.

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