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            I rush down the basement stairs and open the door to my little workshop. On the workbench sits my invasive weed guide alongside my chemical sets, fertilizer bags, and an assortment of gardening tools. I roll up the garage door and the morning sunlight illuminates my family’s trusty red reel mower. There are clippings of my dad’s old business cards on the floor left over from previous blade sharpening in order to achieve a desired grass height of 5/8 of an inch. In my household, we take suburban lawn grooming very seriously.

            I acquire such a love for the beauty and precision of grass maintenance from my father. Ever since I was little, I remember the sound of his lawnmower outside my bedroom window every Saturday morning or the pungent smell of biosolids put monthly on the lawn to naturally replenish the nutrients in the topsoil.

            Now that I have taken chemistry, I have expanded my grass infatuation by including periodic soil sampling of pH levels and nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium concentrations, so that I can customize my own chemical mixtures that are specific to the needs of the back yard and the front lawn. My dad and I have even developed formulas specific to the size of the yard in order to calculate how many pounds per square foot are needed to treat it. In addition, I like to take close examination of propagation of warm season grasses such as Bermuda and Zoysia; my favorite species of grass would be the genetically derived Zeon Zoysia due to its drought tolerance.

            My development as a grass connoisseur has allowed me to have a special connection with my dad and expand my landscaping expertise. Whether in the neighborhood or at college, the grass will always be greener if I am around.

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