Grass is A Suncrop

April 24th, 2010

Me – How can I help you?

Customer – I want to grow some grass in my backyard.

Me – Awesome!  What can I help you with?

Customer – I have read that putting peat moss down over the grass seed is a good thing.

Me – Oh.  Okay.  We usually just recommend hay or straw, but if you have heard that peat moss is a good thing, I am sure it is.

Customer  - I need some grass that does well in the shade.

Me – Grass doesn’t do very well in the shade.  If you don’t have at least partial sun in your backyard, you might want to consider some other types of ground-cover.

Customer – I have read that there are some types of grass that do fine in the shade.

Me – Grass is a sun crop.  There might be a few varieties that claim to grow well in the shade, but good grass really needs the sun.

Customer – Well.. I have read that some grass grows well in the shade.

Me – Okay.. well grass is a sun crop – if you plant it in the shade, you will just have to replant it every Spring.

Customer  - What kind do you sell?

Me – We sell the kind that grows in the sun. 

Customer – Why don’t you sell shade grass?

Me – Because grass is a sun crop.

Customer – But I…

Me – Do you ever see grass growing on the floor of the forest?

Customer – No, but…

Me – That is because grass needs the sun.

Customer – The internet said…

Me – Grass is a sun crop.

Customer – I think.

Me – Sun crop.

Customer – You aren’t..

Me – Sun crop.

Customer – Why don’t you…

Me – Grass is a sun crop.  That’s why it grows on the open prairie.  That’s why it covers the plains.  It’s a sun crop.

Customer – So you are saying that grass doesn’t grow well in the shade.

Me – Grass is a sun crop.

Customer – Grass needs the sun?

Me – Right.

Customer  - But do you have any grass that grows in the shade?

Comments

  • Alison:

    That sounds like a conversation with my kids! I’m impressed that you knew grass was a sun crop.

  • Oh dear….
    He sounds like the person who will be amazed that grass really does not grow in the shade and come back to your nursery and demand his money back……

    I hope you never hear from him again….

    LOL

    Lori

  • Christine from Canada:

    Customer — But do you have any grass that grows in the shade?

    (And the story continued…)

    Me — No. You’re an idiot.

  • After three years at the Garden Center – I have slowly absorbed a few vital facts. The rest is still guess work.

  • Sayrahk:

    To save me from sounding stupid when I go to the garden center – is there a grass (it’s in the sun!) that is impervious to dog urine? I’ve got a chocolate lab with a 10 gallon bladder!

  • He’s probably a Californian (like me). We have a totally different perspective of grass, man.

  • Meanie:

    I’m confused – will grass grow in the shade or not? ;)

  • Spinny:

    Tell him to plant ferns.

  • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:

    Was your customer the annoying orange?
    Hey Plumpkin! (And thanks for that – my 3 kids have started Apples and Plumpkin. And Knife!)

  • Kimberly:

    Oh, WOW! I feel for you Rechelle, I really do. :)

    You know…….I can’t help thinking of other conversational topics that this ‘script’ could fit into……..

  • Ohmygranny…I was laughing so hard at this I nearly cried. Please come work at a garden shop near me. Maybe I wouldn’t be so intimidated if I knew someone would answer my questions directly even if I were being nutty! :)

  • Inga:

    So what you are saying is….grass is a sun crop?

  • Carol:

    SOunds like some of my lame brained comments to my husband. “Lets do hanging strawberry baskets” “The strawberries won’t grow there” etc.

    But I can cook and he can’t.

  • bubbaj:

    So grass needs sun?

    Why?

  • This is reminiscent of many, many conversations between myself and my sons which eventually end up with “Because I said so. That’s why!”

  • Mary:

    Oh, this makes me laugh! Reminds me a bit of the line, “But this goes to 11,” from “This is Spinal Tap.”

    You could teach high school just fine. My students and I have these sorts of conversations daily.

  • suzetta:

    What kind of salesperson are you? Just sell him the grass, and when it doesn’t come back next year you can sell him more grass and maybe some fertilizer, and then next year maybe add some pesticide…. Keep those economic wheels spinning–America needs you!

  • LucyGolden:

    @ Kent – Rechelle’s post had me rolling, your comment almost made me pee my pants!

    We had a house that was shaded for most of the day. Grass didn’t grow too well in the yard, but we had a great crop of moss! Gotta love your customer!

  • Dear grass lady – do you have a cure for dollar weed? It grows in the SUN and I can’t get rid of it without killing the grass which also grows in the sun. :)

  • Dear R
    I have a big tree on the south side of my property. VCan you tell me why I can’t get grass to grow under much of it?
    Sincererly
    Rooth

  • Kay in KCMO:

    Ah, customers. Know them well. However did you resist the urge to smack him upside the head or, at the very least, toy with him? You could’ve made stuff up about rare Tibetan yak-eating grasses that thrive in shade (because of all the mountains), but you don’t carry it because of the tariffs and the liability insurance because the grass not only eats yaks it also eats show cats and toddlers. Judging from your encounter this guy would’ve just nodded knowingly and uttered “riiiiiight” and “I’ve read that” and would’ve happily gone home with a bag of buffalo grass seed.

    Everyone, and I mean *everyone*, needs to work in retail for two years at some time in their early working lives; it makes you a better customer. But then these stories wouldn’t exist and your story was awfully damn funny.

    And speaking of funny, have fun at David Sedaris. Return and report!

  • Sabazinus:

    I once worked in the field of horticulture. It was and is a topic near and dear to my heart. During my time in the trenches, this question was frequent. The next most common one involved roses that grow/flower/thrive in the shade. Oh would customers argue over it. Yes, yes, I’m aware you saw this in Martha Stewart Living. The site in question actually gets direct sun for a few hours. You can’t grow that plant on the north side of your shed where there is no sun at all. No, just because Martha says so, doesn’t make it correct.

  • but it was on the *internet*…

    Besides, I’m not looking for a crop, I just need some grass for my *lawn*. It’s not a farm or anything.

  • MichelleG:

    hmm…never knew grass was a crop…but I knew you could crop grass…if you say it is, I believe you, after all, you’re the professional!

  • Kathy:

    It’s so good to have you back, you crack me up! This sounds like conversations I have with my husband… sad but true! lol!

  • *snerk* I’m impressed your patience lasted so long! I think I’d have lost it much sooner than you.

  • Lori E:

    that was hysterical. Your patience with the “grass lady” (reminds me of SNL’s Target Lady) is commendable.

  • Happy Spider:

    That was really funny! I hope it amused you too, that the customers amuse you instead of irritating you. Did you tell the guy about the alternate ground covers? Are there alternate ground covers? Because it sounds like that’s what he wanted, even if he didn’t know it.

  • So how many handfuls of hair did you pull out out of your head during this conversation? YIKES…

    Di

  • MaryLynne:

    You should submit this to “The Customer is Not Always Right” website.

  • That was really funny! I hope it amused you too, that the customers amuse you instead of irritating you. Did you tell the guy about the alternate ground covers? Are there alternate ground covers? Because it sounds like that’s what he wanted, even if he didn’t know it.

  • Melissa Ann:

    This actually made me laugh out loud :)

    (ps – how was David Sedaris? LOVE LOve love him… And who reads him better than him, yes? Hope you had fun!)

  • You should submit this to “The Customer is Not Always Right” website.

  • Emily:

    Ah, MaryLynne beat me to it! I enjoy notalwaysright.com as well. I think I’m getting to the point where my retail mini-career is far enough behind me that the stories induce laughter instead of nightmares…

  • susan:

    So funny Rechelle.

  • Z:

    I rolled on the floor laughing, and also submit that you might enjoy reading this.

    (“Sun. Crop.” might become the new “Sweet rolls,” for me.)

  • p.j.:

    Well, I will testify on your behalf, Rechelle, that “Shade Mix” grass seed does not grow in the shade. We would reseed every spring, only to have all the grass die by mid-June. We have now given up on growing anything but weeds in the extremely shady (albeit south-facing) portion of our yard. We have some moss, and groundcovers in the borders (hostas, ferns, epimidiums, etc.).
    My garden center carries “Stepables,” ground covers that will take varying degrees of foot traffic. Now that my kids are older teens, I may try some in the middle, if only to keep the dust or mud at bay. My theory is if it’s green, keep it cut, and it looks good enough.
    Your customer was too funny.
    Thanks for coming back to your blog,
    p.j.

  • I rolled on the floor laughing, and also submit that you might enjoy reading this.

    (“Sun. Crop.” might become the new “Sweet rolls,” for me.)

  • JJ:

    I was thinking of you last night when I saw a commercial for a grass seed that was supposed to grow grass ANYWHERE – especially the shade – I just started laughing
    “won’t work” I said to my husband.
    “what??!!!”
    “the seed – on TV – won’t work”
    “why not?”
    “Grass is a suncrop – as per Rechelle”
    “well yeah – sun is best for grass – uh WHO is Rechelle”
    “just a sun crop athiest with a blog…”
    “Uh OKAY – did you need another glass of wine honey?”

  • Well, I will testify on your behalf, Rechelle, that “Shade Mix” grass seed does not grow in the shade. We would reseed every spring, only to have all the grass die by mid-June. We have now given up on growing anything but weeds in the extremely shady (albeit south-facing) portion of our yard. We have some moss, and groundcovers in the borders (hostas, ferns, epimidiums, etc.).
    My garden center carries “Stepables,” ground covers that will take varying degrees of foot traffic. Now that my kids are older teens, I may try some in the middle, if only to keep the dust or mud at bay. My theory is if it’s green, keep it cut, and it looks good enough.
    Your customer was too funny.
    Thanks for coming back to your blog,
    p.j.

  • Well, I will testify on your behalf, Rechelle, that “Shade Mix” grass seed does not grow in the shade. We would reseed every spring, only to have all the grass die by mid-June. We have now given up on growing anything but weeds in the extremely shady (albeit south-facing) portion of our yard. We have some moss, and groundcovers in the borders (hostas, ferns, epimidiums, etc.).
    My garden center carries “Stepables,” ground covers that will take varying degrees of foot traffic. Now that my kids are older teens, I may try some in the middle, if only to keep the dust or mud at bay. My theory is if it’s green, keep it cut, and it looks good enough.
    Your customer was too funny.
    Thanks for coming back to your blog,
    p.j.