Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Cutting Pasture

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It feels like I have been cutting grass non-stop for days. I used to think that growth slowed to a crawl after August but I saw a chart at the State Fair this year that indicated grass growth in September can be compared to what happens in June. There is a slump in July and August when grass might even go dormant before reenergizing in September.

It used to confuse me that September was a recommended time to seed new grass but now I can understand why that is.

Our land is still overly dry but we have had just enough rainfall between dry spells that the greenery looks pretty lush and the grass seems as happy as can be. The reason it feels like I’ve been doing a lot of mowing is that I have been playing with our new electric push mower, and I cut grass in the labyrinth, then used the brush cutter pulled by the diesel tractor to mow the hay field, and yesterday, the back pasture.

In addition, I have been cutting beneath the fence lines with the power trimmer. On top of that, I knocked off the second phase of a twice-a-year mowing of the drainage ditch along our southern property line.

When it’s dry, the mowed ditch becomes an alternate trail for Delilah to explore. In that image, she has her nose to the ground exploring any animal trails hidden beneath the mass of cuttings. The months of growth in the ditch were four to five feet tall and it is a blind cut on the first pass. My foot is poised to hit the clutch to interrupt the power to the mower if anything that wasn’t supposed to be mowed is encountered.

I back up the full length with the brush cutter tipped up a bit and then lower it for the return trip in the forward direction toward where I started. It isn’t a straightforward simple cut because there are washouts where fast-moving water has eroded the soil and they meander back and forth so the tractor wheels occasionally drop down or the mower bottoms out as travel progresses.

So, it is a blind cut on a completely unpredictable terrain. It is a great relief when that task has been fully accomplished.

It is also extremely satisfying to have both big fields mowed. If you’ll recall, it isn’t so much the grass that we need to cut as much as the weeds we want to prevent from going to seed. Cyndie and I don’t want to use toxic chemicals so mowing is our chosen method of control. We also pull a lot of weeds but that is similar to trying to empty a lake of its water by removing a spoonful at a time. Although, it is very satisfying, psychologically, to yank a weed out by its roots.

The horses took great interest in my activity in the back pasture and gave me the impression they wished I would hurry up and finish so they could get back on it.

I’ll keep the gates closed for a couple of days to dry out the cuttings and give the grass a little time to sprout new growth before giving them access again. Meanwhile, they have the entire already-mowed hay field at their disposal.



Written by johnwhays

September 15, 2022 at 6:00 am

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