Thursday, May 11 2017 09:39

Lawn Goals: Making a Yard More than Just a “Lawn”

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This feature is presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™, Cub Cadet and Life of Dad.

Over the past week or so, I’ve largely neglected my normal work. With April having been such an unusually rainy month (“April showers bring May flowers”) here in Northern Illinois this year, the sunny, albeit cool days of early May have been pretty inviting in terms of getting outside to explore one of my real passions: working the yard. I’m usually eyeing the outdoor tasks by February, when I start taking a good look at the depressingly drab and battered landscape that the winter has left behind, with plans of creating a lush, green suburban oasis when the weather breaks. I’ve already been trimming, fertilizing, weeding and caring for the landscape - I do mean the entire picture. A proper yard is more than just a “lawn,” but the total package of everything surrounding it. I do have #LawnGoals, though - and this year the girls and I are working not to meet them, but to exceed them in every possible way. Here’s the rundown on what’s been done so far…


The grass should be a perfect canvas of greenery. With that in mind, I’ve already done the following, the top three of which I will sometimes do twice a week during the season:

  1. Mowed.
  2. Trimmed.
  3. Edged.
  4. Fertilized.
  5. Overseeded.
  6. Weeded (several times - it’s a constant battle).
  7. Aerated (had a guy do this for me)
  8. Sprayed for ticks and other pests (we had an issue with this)

For the overall landscape and garden:

  1. Ordered a truckload (8 cubic yards) of red mulch.
  2. Installed mulch, moving by hand to multiple locations.
  3. Planted flowers
  4. Planted vegetables in our Greenstalk vertical garden.
  5. Planted vegetables in our raised garden beds.
  6. Installed new chicken wire fencing around beds.
  7. Pruned berry bushes.
  8. Planted strawberries in containers.
  9. Removed two stumps (with a chainsaw).
  10. Created new flower beds around playhouses w/solar lighting.
  11. Prepped new location for a Barn Shed (building this week)
  12. Placed Fairy Garden and accented with fresh grasses and annual flowers.
  13. Ceremonial placement of the Garden Jawa.

And I’m probably forgetting some things.


Aside from the fact that I just love gardening as a whole (there’s some farming in my blood), ever since having children, I’ve wanted to make our yard a magical place for the entire family to enjoy. It’s a comfortable space for the kids to play, and a great place to do some grilling, or kick-back for a movie night with our outdoor theater set-up.


Now that I’ve shared my #LawnGoals, it’s time for you to share yours for a chance to win big in the #LawnGoals Sweeptakes!

Cub Cadet #LawnGoals

To enter capture a photo or video of your yard, tell us how you bring your lawn to life and why your yard is #LawnGoals. Share the post on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtags #LawnGoals #Sweepstakes or visit http://cubcadet.votigo.com/lawngoals and upload a photo.

If your entry is approved, you’ll be entered for a chance to win one Cub Cadet RZT L 42 KH Lap Bar Zero-Turn Rider (ARV $2,399.99), hotel accommodations for two, and two tickets to attend an NHRA event in the summer of 2017.

Cub Cadet, the proven innovator of zero-turn technology, has created the industry’s strongest line of award-winning zero-turn riders. Our leading 360° turning technology lets you easily mow around obstacles with incredible confidence, making every mowing-maneuver more efficient.

The RZT® L/LX Series combines the precision of responsive lap-bar controlled zero-turn handling with outstanding comfort. Thoughtful ergonomics come complete with convenient maintenance features - all designed to ensure that you’re satisfied with your zero-turn (and your lawn) for the long run.

Ready to Rock your #LawnGoals? Visit CubCadet.com to get started.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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