So here's the situation. I just moved into a single house with four rooms, two baths, two large halls and a wet kitchen near the campus. It's a real deal, I must say. The house is just spacious and comfortable to live in. Above all that, it also comes with a surrounding lawn.
One thing about the lawn when I first came in was that, well, it wasn't really a lawn. There were weeds and shrubs everywhere. Although cutting them all down or poisoning them dead with pesticide could be a quick solution, they will grow back because the underground roots were not removed. So no point there.
So I took a few pictures of the original condition of the lawn and post them below with descriptions:
The front lawn with all types of weeds in there, even the thorny 'semalu'.
The right-side lawn. Shorter shrubs, no weeds.
The backyard with some weeds and those crawling roots. The drainage system here was absolutely out due to the blockage these roots created.
The left-side lawn. Speechless.
The front lawn seen from another angle. When you step on the weeds, you can actually feel just how thick the layer was.
The front lawn overlooking the front porch. Notice the filled-up drain.
So I went out to the nearby hardware and bought myself a hoe, a metal rake, a bamboo rake, a bamboo sweep and a pair of welding gloves. I prefer welding gloves due to their agility and protection against minor injury often associated with gardening. After all there were a lot of those thorny weeds in there and I didn't think that the common cotton-made gardening glove was protective enough against all that.
With those tools, patiently, I pulled out one root after another, starting from the front lawn, often in the evening after work. It took me around 6 weeks to get them all out. Could be done quickly if it wasn't for the fasting month. I removed all the big rocks and impurities i.e. plastics, metals et cetera away from the lawn, leaving only dirt and fine sand behind.
This is how it looks like today:
The front lawn taken right before I left the house for Eidul Fitr last two weeks. You can see the hoe and the metal rake in the picture.
The amount of roots I pulled out from the ground. This was only a quarter of it. The rest was thrown at the back of the house.
The septic tanks were not even visible previously. I discovered them only when I was clearing the roots from this ground. In the picture above, the septic tank is at the middle of the picture, right before that small sand pile there.
Another look at the cleared lawn. I plan to plant the carpet grass later after the top layer has settled firmly.
The left-side lawn as per today. Just cleared it out and I plan to plant some chilies and lemon grass and eggplants and ladies' finger and pretty much other local veggies suitable for this kind of rather-sandy land.
The backyard. I cleared the land and collected all the pulled-out roots at one place using the bamboo rake. The dry one was burned to keep mosquitoes away while I work here.
The front lawn taken today. Some shrubs have grown back here so I need to keep a watch. I weeded this place too yesterday so I'm just keeping this place clear for now.
See, the septic tank is visible in here. I need to remove that tree on the rightmost side of the picture though.
As to reduce the amount of dirt and sand being taken away by water streams during a rain, I planted these rather lovely-looking shrubs along the ridges of the drain to hold onto the ground and to act as a natural water filter.
Currently working on this part of the land. Clearing the weeds out a foot after another.
Some of the places required a handpick service. Here I have to pull the weeds by hand because it was more effective that way than using the hoe. The drain is pretty clean now.
One thing I learnt about gardening is that, somehow, it makes me happy. Probably because of the sweating and the joy of knowing that I've done much for the day to see obvious changes here and there. The neighbors sometimes dropped by and looked around the house, asking about how I did these all by myself and what my plans are for the land. I've made a lot of new friends while working on this lawn. I feel healthier, more energetic, less stressful, and most importantly, I feel happy.
I'm gonna finish up weeding tomorrow and start with my chili babies. I've got to get some carpet grass soon as well. Maybe some flowers and garden decorations here and there.
Because nothing feels better after coming home tired from work than to see a wonderful garden waiting for you.
And a wife waiting for you too at the gate. Woopsie!