Do you remember a couple months ago in the March Monthly Moos post I told you about my husband's John Deere tractors and I mentioned that I have a John Deere too? Well this is mine. Pretty much anyway. Eldon has to work on it, change the belts when I break them, and remind me to buy fuel for it. But it is my mowing machine.
It is a called a Zero Turn. I think that has to do with the fact that you can turn it on a dime - like you have to be careful (or I do anyway) because you can really spin it around and mow over things you shouldn't!
This is our highway frontage. It goes all the way to where the tiny road comes off the main road and then curves on to the right... and then goes on for a bit more. So I have a lot of frontage that I mow. Before we moved here we had leased our farm to a man that was caring for it. He "forgot" to maintain this frontage and when we moved we spent a solid two weeks the first winter cutting vines out of the fences. It grows fast and the vines actually can quickly become a "hedge" on the fence. I made it my job to do all the "easy" mowing on the farm.
Here is the same frontage after I mowed (and string trimmed - more on that in a minute). My mower makes a five foot wide cut and it takes me four passes to mow on this side of the fence - and two passes on the other side. It's a lot wider than it looks in this picture.
I also mow along the gravel road that goes into our farm and all the way up the hill to our house. Parts of the road I mow all the way to fence line (like in this picture above) and it is about 15 passes.
This is how it looks after I mow - however, this angle shows all the way to the highway.
This is our lower pasture, our hay pasture. I mow along our gravel road and along the fence lines leaving the hay to grow, obviously. This is how the grass looks after a week of not mowing!
This is the same spot, just a little further back. It is mowed as well as string trimmed. (Our hay should be cut next week. If you haven't read my post about that you can read it here.)
So now about the string trimming. If we do not string trim under the fence we end up with this mess you see in the picture above. Eventually the grass and vines take over and climb the fence posts. It doesn't take long. This is only 3 weeks of no string trimming. Luckily I don't have to do it weekly when I mow, but it does have to be done about every 3 weeks.
There's also places that I can't get to with my mower. Around these guide wires, the mail box, utility poles, etc.. I have a great string trimmer that my son in law gave me. It is really powerful, starts easy and is really easy to change out the string. It used to be so heavy I would have to stop every few minutes and take a break... this is the third year that I've used it and by some miracle it has gotten a little lighter each summer! I've gotten pretty good at it and actually I really enjoy it. It is a lot of walking but I use our Polaris Ranger too and so it isn't as bad as it could be! This is the main frontage road and I trim as fas as you can see up the road in this picture.
You can see in the above picture that the mower actually gets a lot under the fence, it is just around the t-posts that I have to trim. So it isn't terribly hard. Just hot. And humid. (Smile!)
We could spray weed control under our fences, a lot of people do. But since our cows eat the grass and the hay from our pasture and we sell the cows for meat... we are not willing to take the risk of spraying the grass. I'd rather run the string trimmer!
See how much nicer that looks?
A few things I love about mowing: I like to get on the mower, put my ear plugs in and just zone out. I have a pretty good system now so for about 4 hours of mowing I don't have to think about much except the beautiful grass, the sunshine, and the instant gratification of manicured grass! I love that immediately you see an improvement! I like that it requires a little bit of skill to keep from turning it upside down in the steep ditch (which I haven't done, thank goodness), getting stuck in the culvert (which I have done), and throwing a rock into the window of your newly built home (which I unfortunately have also done). I love that people pay a lawn company hundreds of dollars a month to do what I can do.
I did tell my grand-daughter Jillian that I love to mow. Then I made the mistake of complaining about it once and she said, "But Gram, you love to mow"!
And I do. But mostly, I just plain love summer and green grass.
This wraps up the month of May. Can you believe it? I'm trying to hold on tight with both hands as I know summer is going to fly like the wind. And I just want to smile through the sweat!
I would love to hear about some of your mowing mishaps!