Friday, May 26, 2006

Tips for cutting the grass

I believe that I've mentioned that my lawn in the back garden had gotten freakishly long. It's not usually that way. I'd had a bit of trouble with both front and back gardens at the beginning of the season because I didn't realise that last fall there was actually a day after which you really wouldn't be able to mow for six months due to weather, and, well, that day came the Thursday before the Saturday I'd intended for mowing. So the lawn continued to grow throughout the winter, and by the time the rain stopped and mowing was possible again it had gotten totally out of control.

I was able to fix it, but then with exams and the buckets of rain we've been getting it has never really seemed like the time to cut the grass. And funny thing about grass...it grows, regardless of rain or life pressures. So I was left with grass that was somewhere around 6 - 12 inches long in the back garden. It was in that shaggy unmown phase where you can see the waves of the wind, actually.

I have a lightweight, small electric push mower. Don't really need more, as my lawn is tiny. So I went out last night...it was clear and sunny for the first time in two weeks...knowing that it would be difficult to cut that crazy meadow. And I was right. About every minute grass would jam the blade, I'd turn off the mower to clean it out, and start again. This was compounded by the fact that one sunny afternoon does not a dry yard make. The grass was soaking, and the ground squooshed under my steps. Squooshy ground leads to mudskids under your foot when you aren't thinking, and that means you slide around.

I knew I'd have better luck if I could adjust the mower height, but my mower doesn't begin to have that feature. Instead, I developed a method as I went along where I'd go across the grass with the front of the mower tipped upwards, then pull back with both wheels on the ground. Seemed to work, and though it was much more like vacuuming, I was able to get the perimeter of the yard done and was left with a 6 ft square in the middle of the lawn when the mower overheated and stopped working from the whirring of a jammed blade. I gave up for the night.

Now it looks like I have a test patch or am growing some sort of exotic species of grass, and am not mowing it for effect. And it's raining again, so it will only get worse.

Note to self. Try mowing in the rain next time.

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