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Old 09-06-2013, 06:00 PM
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Explain this lawn mowing strategy to me


Because I see this quite a bit and have never understood it.

Step 1. Let your grass grow until it is a foot tall.

Step 2. Drop your mower down to the lowest setting.

Step 3. Struggle to mow your yard as your mower chokes on the foot-high grass and leaves huge clumps of cut grass in it's wake.


I guess some people just hate to mow, and put it off as long as they can. But to me it's a strategy that backfires because it is so much more work to shove your mower through foot-high grass than it would be if you just cut it once a week or so while it was still relatively short.
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Old 09-06-2013, 06:13 PM
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Plus, if I recall correctly (I haven't been responsible for a lawn for something like 47 years) it's a great way to kill the grass. You'll be cutting off the live part and leaving dead stumps.

I'm sure you're right about the reason, though, hating to take the time to cut the grass as often as it should be cut. It takes a certain amount of maturity to keep up on chores instead of doing fun stuff (exception made for the very small percentage of people who truly do not have time, in which case they should probably not have lawns either).


Roddy
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Old 09-06-2013, 06:13 PM
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"Dammit, I bought this gas mower so it'd do the work for me and, by god, it's going to do it!"

It also has the advantage of needing to be done less often, and the same principle applies to laundry, dishes, sweeping, and dog grooming.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:40 PM
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It happens sometimes because the person mowing has other, more pressing obligations than mowing the yard.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:44 PM
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It's so customers will know where the meth lab is.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:55 PM
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Well, as a kid who had to mow the family yard, I would wait until bodily harm was threatened, and then go out and mow it so low that my hope was it wouldn't need mowing again for two weeks.

Of course it was stupid - but I was a kid and HATED mowing grass.
Unfortunately, in Illinois in the summer, the grass had grown an inch by the time you returned the mower to the garage after just finishing the job.

BTW, to make matters worse - my father got me a job with the city, when I was 16 and 17 and 18 to mow ALL of the parks and city grounds in the city...it was horrible; never ended, humid and sweaty, damned bugs and bees and flies, poison ivy, hitting rocks and cans and other hidden things in grass, dangerous mowers, cars almost running you over as you did the berms, steep hills, ant hills, snakes...let's just say it wasn't my favorite job.

One day, sweating my ass off, mowing some stupid city park in 90% humidy, some guy parked his car and walked over and said, "Gee, it must be great to work outside and get the exercise and see the results of your work!"
My look must have spoken volumes, as he quickly went back to his car and drove off without me having to say a word.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:55 PM
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Some people care deeply about their lawn. Some people don't give a fuck. Some people give about half a fuck. This is their strategy.
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:28 PM
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Some people had cheap fathers who bought shitty secondhand electric mowers that didn't hold a charge and blades that weren't sharp when they were new.
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:34 PM
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My lawn mowing strategy is to close the front gate and let one of the horses out of the pasture. Very "green".
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:19 PM
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My lawn mowing strategy is to close the front gate and let one of the horses out of the pasture. Very "green".
Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:59 PM
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My lawn mowing strategy is to close the front gate and let one of the horses out of the pasture. Very "green".
I've been telling my husband that we need to get a couple of goats, some stakes, and some chains. And every day we tether a goat to a different stake.
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:17 PM
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My lawn mowing strategy is to close the front gate and let one of the horses out of the pasture. Very "green".
Substitute two cows, and that is my strategy. Or was until my fence got ruined. Guess I need to fix it, eh?
  #13  
Old 09-07-2013, 02:53 AM
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I wonder if it's the same guys who let their hair grow a few inches, then get a crew cut.
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:29 AM
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I'm more interested in the motivations of the weirdos I see spending hours every day painstakingly tending their landscaping. I can only assume they have no other obligations. Must be nice. I'm lucky to get five hours of sleep most nights, so if I don't get to the back lawn every week they'll just have to deal.

I do take care of the front every week. Don't want the amateur groundskeepers on my street getting too upset. Maybe someone should perform a compassionate capture and release them onto a golf course somewhere.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:01 AM
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I did a favor for a buddy who worked for a lawn company. As a "thank you" he began treating my lawn with fertilizers/weed killers anytime he was in the neighborhood. The lawn was gorgeous, but needed cut twice a week. When I figured out what was going on, I begged him to stop.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:03 AM
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I've been telling my husband that we need to get a couple of goats, some stakes, and some chains. And every day we tether a goat to a different stake.
Tried that. Horses are quieter.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLRogers View Post
I'm more interested in the motivations of the weirdos I see spending hours every day painstakingly tending their landscaping. I can only assume they have no other obligations. Must be nice. I'm lucky to get five hours of sleep most nights, so if I don't get to the back lawn every week they'll just have to deal.

I do take care of the front every week. Don't want the amateur groundskeepers on my street getting too upset. Maybe someone should perform a compassionate capture and release them onto a golf course somewhere.
We have a guy in our neighborhood who we call the "Perfect Lawn" guy. He's one of these older, probably retired, guys who has the time to go out and meticulously water the lawn by hand every day. His yard looks great. His house is across the street from a house we call "The Crack House". You can guess what their yard looks like. It must kill him to have to look at that every day.

Quote:
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I've been telling my husband that we need to get a couple of goats, some stakes, and some chains. And every day we tether a goat to a different stake.
Yeah but then you have all that goat crap to clean up. I think I'd rather just mow.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:32 AM
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Some people had cheap fathers who bought shitty secondhand electric mowers that didn't hold a charge and blades that weren't sharp when they were new.
In my house, that father would have got a shiny new gas lawnmower for Christmas.


As for the OP, I think it's a combination of sloth and not understanding how to actually mow a yard.

It's often easier when the grass is really high to mow it on a high setting and then drop it down and mow again on a lower one, rather than trying to power it through in one low pass.

Also, a lot (most?) people cut their grass too low to begin with. It seems like everyone around here mows their St. Augustine grass at about 2", when the correct height according to every site I can find says 3"-3.5" is ideal.

It's like the other people don't realize that grass growth is more or less constant- if your grass grows 1/2" per week, you'll have 2.5" grass after a week if you typically cut at 2", and 3.5" if you typically cut at 3".

Cutting it lower doesn't do you any good unless you do something like cut at 2" and then come back in 3 weeks and cut at 3", trimming off 1/2" of grass. If anything, it's more stressful for the grass because you're cutting off most of the actual "leaves" of the plant instead of only removing a moderate portion.

What I don't understand is that it seems like every Saturday afternoon I see multiple knuckleheads out mowing their yards. Is there any reason they pick the very hottest time of the day to mow when it's 101F/38.3C, and then look totally miserable while doing it? Mowing at 8 am is much more pleasant, and even noon isn't so God-awful hot. Even 6 or 7 pm is better than 3, but

Last edited by bump; 09-07-2013 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoeless View Post
Step 1. Let your grass grow until it is a foot tall.

Step 2. Drop your mower down to the lowest setting.

Step 3. Struggle to mow your yard as your mower chokes on the foot-high grass and leaves huge clumps of cut grass in it's wake.
FTR, you just described the strategy I employed while in grad school and regularly working 60 hour weeks. It was simply a matter of time management. I could spend a hellish 90 minutes mowing the lawn every two weeks or 30 minutes every 5-6 days.
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:01 PM
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As someone who is literally right now in the middle of trying to drive my riding mower through foot-high grass, I would dearly love to be able to mow it more often. Nothing would make me happier than to have that kind of leisure time. It's been four weeks since I've had enough time on a Saturday to get out there and tackle it.

Whoop - have to go again. My autistic daughter needs help getting to sleep for her nap.

Last edited by Smeghead; 09-07-2013 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:11 PM
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It's best not to remove more than 1/3 of the grass height when mowing. And yeah, I'd always start as early as possible without disturbing the neighbors. Use a mulching blade. I've gone completely organic too and that helps w not having too much growth each week.

Last edited by lieu; 09-07-2013 at 12:12 PM.
  #22  
Old 09-07-2013, 12:20 PM
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Mowing early in the day sounds good, but too often the dew hasn't totally dried.

*****************

I was mowing my lawn years ago during a rainstorm, because it had to be done and I had plans for the following two weeks. I was barefoot. My neighbor stopped over to tell me their friend, a cop, was on his way over to visit. I looked at her, and she reminded me that mowing barefoot was illegal and she didn't wanna see me get ticketed/arrested.
  #23  
Old 09-07-2013, 01:17 PM
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For a few years we used sheep.

mrAru's grandfather paved his yard and painted it green. [He lived in Redding at the time, this would have been 50s/60s]

I personally love the idea of several tons of gravel and specific tree and shrub plantings, with perhaps a couple of plots of purpose planted herbs and flowers.
  #24  
Old 09-07-2013, 01:43 PM
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It's best not to remove more than 1/3 of the grass height when mowing.
Maybe so, but the world won't end if I opt to remove more than that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoeless
Step 3. Struggle to mow your yard as your mower chokes on the foot-high grass and leaves huge clumps of cut grass in it's wake.
What struggle? The mower's pissant 4-horse engine is what's struggling, not me. I just walk a little slower in some spots. The yard grows really unevenly; some spots barely need mowing, while others really bog the engine down. Why let those vigorous patches dictate the schedule for the entire lawn?

I'd rather wait three weeks until most of the lawn needs mowing, instead of just mowing everything once a week to keep those few hypertrophic zones in check.
  #25  
Old 09-07-2013, 01:45 PM
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My strategy is to pack in, as much fun as I can, into my every day. Around that, I try and schedule things like yard maintenance. Such are the vagaries of weather that it sometimes rains and I must put it off to another day. Sometimes it rains a lot, like this summer, and the lawn needs to be cut more often. Sometimes more pressing life issues require further time constraints on lawn work. Besides, in the end, it's just a lawn. I make a good effort, but refuse to be a slave to it. I assume the same of all my neighbours too. When their lawn gets over grown I think, they may be on vacation, maybe their Mom is sick again.

Oh, and I quite enjoy watching people have a go at their overgrown yards. Some are quite good at it! The trick seems to be to cut a swath only one half the width of the mower. Goes a little slower but doesn't jam up frequently. Yes, I will make tea, sit in my porch seat and enjoy your adventure along with you!
  #26  
Old 09-07-2013, 06:04 PM
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In our case, the lawnmower broke and needed a part that was on back order for three weeks. Sorry, neighbors...
  #27  
Old 09-07-2013, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoeless View Post
We have a guy in our neighborhood who we call the "Perfect Lawn" guy. He's one of these older, probably retired, guys who has the time to go out and meticulously water the lawn by hand every day. His yard looks great. His house is across the street from a house we call "The Crack House". You can guess what their yard looks like. It must kill him to have to look at that every day.
You've perfectly described us and our neighbors on both sides. Hint: We're not the "perfect lawn" ones. We try to mow it at least every couple weeks, but it's more weeds than grass, a couple of our pine trees are dying, there's poison ivy all along one side of the house, and every shrub seems to have these hard to get rid of vines strangling it.

The bottom line is we work full time and both have health issues and a lot of other things to deal with. I could make our lawn look like the neighbors magazine-cover showcases, but I don't have the time, money, or energy. So the bare minimum of lawn care it is!
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