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What is a "swept yard"?

I have been re-reading To Kill A Mockingbird, and it mentions the Radley's having a "swept yard that was never swept". What exactly is a swept yard?


Asked by prinzesstephi at 4:32 AM on Dec. 28, 2010 in Home & Garden

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Answers (4)
  • Found this, among others, by using Google............Instead of attempting to grow grass or other ground covers on red clay, rural southerners would sweep and tamp down that clay until it baked hard as a rock, reducing dust tracking and making the space suitable for yard work. Houses, hot during the day, were abandoned and people moved outside to shaded yards where they could do the washing, cook, eat, and do other heavy work in the shade of trees.

    Answer by elizabr at 7:37 AM on Dec. 28, 2010

  • I had to read that book in high school and ALWAYS wondered that too!! Good question!!

    Answer by AtHomeMommy-3 at 4:34 AM on Dec. 28, 2010

  • i always assumed that a swept yard was a well kept yard.

    Answer by samurai_chica at 6:51 AM on Dec. 28, 2010

  • Grass lawns are fairly new in the South. They used to literally sweep the dirt in the yard.

    Answer by twinsplus2more at 10:09 PM on Dec. 28, 2010

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