Thursday, September 22, 2011
Bringing it Down to Toadstool Town
This week has gone by quite quickly. This is probably because I’m leaving for my trip to London in less than a week and I’ve had a lot to do both at work and at home in preparation.
I don’t mind when weeks go fast. This has been a bit of a rainy week, actually. Ever since Sunday, we’ve had showers or the threat of them every day. Since it’s not officially autumn yet and summer hasn’t completely left, this has resulted in somewhat sticky, muggy conditions.
This has also resulted in my garden being turned into Toadstool Town. The problem with our area of Cincinnati is that we were actually built on a spring. This means that not only are we unable to have basements in our houses because of the water table level or what have you but, also, it means that we have pretty bad drainage and a lot of dampness when it rains.
Which is why I now have a Toadstool Town on my lawn. Our area is highly prone to different types of fungi popping up everywhere. Normally, it’s just a couple after it’s rained. I mowed my lawn on Sunday. Since then, toadstools have been popping up like triffids. Each day since then that I’ve woken up, there have been toadstools popping up that are increasingly larger than they usually are. They’re also getting closer and closer to the house.
My current project is to identify the toadstools. I want to make sure they’re not deathly toxic or anything like that. The dogs don’t seem interested in them and just seem to run right over them but still, as a paranoid dog-mother, I’m going to check anyway.
I’m not too thrilled about the toadstools. They’re a little like dandelions in the spring- a badge of shame in the neighbourhood. Many of my neighbours are prodigious in caring for their lawns. They measure the height of the mower, make sure they edge the lawn regularly and, of course, spray for dandelions.
As a still somewhat newish homeowner, I haven’t quite got the hang of dandelions yet. I tend to, uh, well…let them grow until I mow their pretty heads off.
That’s probably part of my problem too. I quite like dandelions. I know they’re nuisances and they take over the lawn and cover up the green glory with their yellow obnoxiousness but, well, I find them to be friendly little flowers. Which is probably another issue- I think of them as flowers rather than weeds.
I know there are botanists out there who for centuries have documented plant life, carefully segregating it into genus and species and all that scientific class stuff. I know that there is a line between weed and cultivated plants but I find it to be a little rude to some of the weeds. After all, some plants that are classified as weeds are far prettier and decorative than cultivated plants. Take hostas for example.I know they have their place and are shade plants and la-de-da and all that but, well, I am not a fan of hostas. I also find pampas grass to be rather unattractive which is why I ripped it up from my front garden and replaced it with butterfly bushes and zinnias.
Anyway, back to my point…I find dandelions to be cute and fun when they’re in their flower stage. I don’t like them when they turn into the dandelion clocks because they’re quite ugly then. Also, that’s when you start getting the death stares from the neighbours who care a lot about their lawn and do NOT want the dandelion clocks spreading their nasty seeds on their pretty lawns. This is the stage at which I do a lot of mowing. Granted, I’m well aware that by mowing the dandelions, the seeds are going into the air and probably spreading themselves anyway but, well, it comes down to a case of hiding the evidence. If I have no dandelion clocks on my lawn, fingers can’t be pointed at me if they grow on the neighbour’s lawns.
Toadstools are a little like dandelions except that they grow even quicker. They have that same shaming quality though where you feel like people in the neighbourhood are seeing the toadstools and secretly labeling me the FUNGUS ENABLER.
Yes, I know this is probably unlikely and a bit dramatic. However, this is why I’m grateful that my front yard is toadstool free and the fungus are solely in the back yard.
My solution has been to kick the Toadstool Town daily and take out the little buggers. Unfortunately, this does not stop them growing again overnight. I could mow them but my grass really doesn’t need it. Also, it’s quite wet so I’d rather not mow if I can avoid it. After google-ing “toadstool cures”, apparently I can buy some fungicide to kill them off but, well, frankly, to quote Ned Stark while simultaneously sending a shudder down my mother’s spine, “Winter is Coming.”
Thus, it seems a bit of a waste to fungicide the lawn now when in a few weeks, we might have a frost which will solve the problem. (Sorry mum…just being realistic).
Therefore, it seems the pups and I will have to deal with Toadstool Town for now. I’m going to actually dispose of the kicked-over toadstools in hopes that it stops their demon spores from reproducing. Sadly, this probably won’t help but it will make me feel better. Also, it will make me feel better if they’re away from the dogs just in case their some Highly Toxic Toadstool though I suspect their much more run-of-the-mill than that.
I’ll figure it out. In the meantime, I’ll remain disappointed that I have boring old Toadstools-Who-Shall-Be-Named-Eventually instead of something more useful that likes damp conditions such as chanterelle mushrooms or morels which would cost over $12/pound in the grocery store.
Ah well, it could always be worse. They could spread to the front yard.