Ok, here's my situation:
My husband, 2 kids and I are renting a wonderful little bungalow and have been in talks with the landlord to purchase the property if he decides to sell. He agreed, this year, to work out a 2 yr deal so we can get the down payment saved etc. The house does need some upgrading and we definitely want to put in a garage as it doesn't have one. Even though these upgrades are very much needed, we decided we will not do any work to the property until we have purchased it in order to keep the property value down. This does include the landscaping to the house which is desperately needed as well. Which is where my neighbor issues come into play.
This is our third summer in the home. The first summer, I patched the front lawn and got the bare spots covered in grass and it was looking much better by mid summer. Back yard; just mowed as it is a huge square with one 3 ft wide dirt patch (clay) between my offending neighbors fence and lawn; Our back neighbors have huge pine trees that suck moisture from that area of lawn along our fence so the grass doesn't grow very well there. But that's ok b/c I have plans for that area once the garage is up.
Second year, spread grass seed & fertilizer and top soil all over the front lawn and it was looking just as good as my neighbors by July. So happy!! Took out the hideous white rock from the front beds and replaced with black cedar chips and planted lots of lovely perennials given to me by my mom and oma from their gardens. B/c the soil is solid clay, i dug out a LOT and replaced it with good soil, manure, fertilizer etc etc that my mom gave me to help me out. Hooray our front yard is starting to look real good!! Back yard; still just mowing and noticing a lot of weeds in the back yard in the 3 ft wide dirt area. I blame the new development across the street as a whole new neighborhood is being built and I'm sure a lot of weed seeds are blowing in. But oh well, I will mow them and dig out any huge ones and dig out the weeds before they flower and thats ok b/c I have plans for that area once we buy the house. (I am using the dig and fill method for the weeds that do show up in the front lawn.) We are against using any poisons to kill the weeds b/c we dog sit my mom's dog and my brother-in-laws dog often and they play fetch in the back yard and love to eat the grass. So not wanting their balls or other toys to get covered in any poisons or to get the grass that they eat covered in it, we chose not to use any. More work yes, but I feel okay knowing the area they play in is chem-free.
But I notice the weeds along the offending neighbors fence (in the 3ft dirt patch) are turning yellow. Thats great!! they are short-lived weeds!! But wait a minute, only half of these are yellow (about 2ft wide) and the rest is still green? Weird!! I go to my neighbors house to ask if he sprayed any weed killer in my yard. He admitted to it and long story short; he swore, raised his voice etc and said that he's had to take care of that yard for the 10 yrs he's lived there b/c it has always been a rental property and he's tired of the weeds. ( His lawn and yard are amazing by the way!! He is a slave to his yard and it shows. I'm impressed. Want mine to look like that and I know someday it will, but on our own time. ) So I asked him to not worry about our yard, I will deal with it in my own way and time (I work 3 part time jobs so not a lot of time) and here's why I can't have you spraying out yard with toxins.... He said as long as I do my yard the way he does his, he will leave it alone. I said, there are other ways besides yours to deal with weeds and please do not spray chems. in our yard. While that conversation did not end well, as my husband came outside to see why our neighbor was swearing at me, so my husband grabbed his hand shook it, thanked him for his concern and said we will work on it. Please give us our space.
So during this second year, my mom gave me more perennials and a lilac tree from her husbands old farm (it was being sold so she though it would be great for all of us kids to have a piece of this history). Cool. I decided to plant the lot in the dirt area thinking it would keep my neighbor from spraying again in the future. It took hours to dig out a section of clay and replace with mixtures of soil, manure, fertilizer etc that once again my mom gave to us b/c she was so excited about me finally having a bit of a green thumb.
This year the perennials are gorgeous!! So big and green and lush!! I can't wait to build that garage b/c I will move them along the side of it in perennial beds!! I am so excited!! I am actually going to have to dig another section of dirt and replace with good soil and spread them out b/c they are growing quite big. No worries. It's worth the work!! Look at me! I'm growing things!!
About a week later, I notice there's a foot and a half of yellowing going on with the weeds that are beside my perennials and in between them and my lilac bush. 2 days later I notice my perennials are starting to die as well and my little thriving healthy lilac tree is burned from the chems. I am so angry!! He doesn't even bother to tell us he is doing it. I don't know until they start to die. I also need to let you know that I have chives in that perennial bed and thank God we didn't use them for supper yet this year!! And I don't know how many times we've played fetch in that area with my brothers dog during this time.
I am at my wits end!! He finds it more important to make sure his yard is weed-free than to help us keep our families and pets safe. I want to go over to his house again but feel this will not work.
What advice does anyone out there have for my situation?!!!!!
Edited by osanfernando - 7/7/12 at 12:53pm