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To Cut or not to Cut

July 10, 2009

I have a fairly big lawn. I say lawn, but really it’s more of a pasture that I cut with a lawnmower. Do not picture uniform green grass, weed free when you think of my lawn. No, my lawn is full of byhalia grass, the kind grown for cows. I have plenty of wild green onions, thorns, thistles, baby trees, and baby privet hedges shoots coming up in my lawn. Part of the reason is I have never tried to kill all that stuff and grow only grass. I have never seeded or put down turf. I have never fertalized my lawn.

Thistle

Thistle

What I have done is cut it when most of the grass is over mid calf. Yes really. Byhalia grass is the kind that grows very tall, and splits into a ‘Y’ at the top. It grows faster than everything else and from one week to the next, it can grow knee high, if there is enough water. That’s something else I have never done, water the grass. I figure, if it dries up and dies, less for me to cut.

We got some rain last week (after a month of nothing) and now the grass is growing. I would love to cut it with a reel mower, but as I said, it’s a big lawn and I can’t see me chopping down a thistle with a pushmower. A reel mower would be quieter, more of a workout for me, and certainly easier on the land. However, I don’t want to spend all day on the lawn, so I think my riding mower will be what I choose one more time. Plus, the riding mower is paid for, and I would have to purchase a reel mower if I wanted to use one.

Back yard

Back yard

I have decided to let some of the back yard go back to full pasture though. See where those three trees are, the evergreen and the oak and whatever that other tree is? I used to cut behind them, but now, I’m just going to cut in front. That still leaves me plenty of space to have a yard. It’s hard to tell, but this is standing on my back porch and looking out. See how there is a line with high grass and such, then my yard? That higher part gets cut with a bushhog about once a year. So, now everything behind my trees will match that.

If you have a largish yard, how do you decide what to cut and what to just ignore? I heard someone say the other day, if you are keeping your yard up just because you think you are expected to, but you don’t enjoy it, then stop. I think that’s a very freeing idea. I don’t ‘play’ in my yard. No outdoor games, no running in the grass. No one can see my yard, or my house from the road. The state of my yard has no impact on my neighbors house values, so, I am tempted to completely stop. What would it look like if I never mowed it again?

If you felt you could stop mowing completely, would you?

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