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Weed Killer Or Fertilizer?

When I bought my house in Chandler, Arizona I realized the previous owners had neglected the backyard. After mowing it down to get an idea of what I was dealing with, I went to a nearby nursery to look for some weed killer.

I inquired of the resident garden expert while holding a bottle of herbicide that promised to eliminate the invaders of my Bermuda grass. After hearing my situation, he took the bottle out of my hand.

“You don’t need this. You need this.”

He walked me over to a bag of fertilizer, custom crafted for the type of soil in my yard. Holding up the bottle of herbicide he said, “Here’s the deal. You can spot-spray those weeds and this stuff will kill them. But it will likely leave brown spots where the weed used to be. You’ll spend all summer playing “Whack-A-Mole” with dandelions. The best way to get rid of weeds in Bermuda is to grow your grass so thick and healthy that there’s no room for weeds to grow.”

I bought the bag of fertilizer. Following his instructions, I fed and watered that Bermuda grass. And I kept feeding and kept watering. In about three weeks there wasn’t a weed left. That patch of grass had morphed into a thick, cushy, happy green carpet. It was a joy to look at. And an even greater joy for my daughters to play on.

My green weed-free grass – E & A with Palmer the Eskimo Dog – 2001

I can’t speak for you, but I’ve spent too much of my life trying to “spot-spray” my sins. A quick look at my lawn and I see weeds of pride, hypocrisy, and unforgiveness. And over in the corner, maybe even a couple weeds of stubborn rebellion. I know they don’t belong and I want them gone. So I’ll spray them with some increased effort, increased willpower, and a couple extra squirts of Scripture to make sure it knows I’m serious about killing it.

And it works. For a while. I may even manage to see a brown spot or two as proof of what I’ve eliminated. But taking a step back to view the larger lawn that is my life? It’s clear that spot spraying hasn’t done anything to make my grass healthier.

I’m old enough to know that when I focus on daily feeding and watering my life with God’s truth that my grass grows lush and green. And the more I feed and water it, the less room there is for weeds to grow. When love is prolific, there’s less room for a critical spirit. When truth takes root and spreads, there’s less room for deception. When the fruit of the spirit is encouraged, the weeds of the enemy are discouraged.

How’s your lawn looking these days? Been doing some spot spraying?

Try turning on the water hose and spreading some fertilizer.

Give God a chance to grow your grass.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23


Todd A. Thompson – One Eye Out




This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Sheri

    Hi Todd!
    What a great perspective on ” Weed Killer or Fertilizer!” Chandler has had so much rain this year, “fertilizer” would be a brilliant move for grass! Alas with “rocks only” landscape, we are forced to use “weed killer” and the benefit is no embarrassing “brown spots!”😄 I LOVE how your writing ALWAYS make me think! The picture of Annie & Emna was adorable! Blessings & keep writing!

  2. Lou Wagenveld

    Hey Todd. Either you’d been “quiet” for a time, or I haven’t paid attention. This is “cousin” Lou; recently our middle daaughter moved to Chandler.
    The next time we visit her (from Escondido where we are now) I’ll have to look you up. Blessings.

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