04 June 2009

Things I Don't Like: Mowning the Lawn

It's a waste of time. It takes 90 minutes to mow the lawn, more if I trim. I hate it.

I don't even want a lawn, but local ordinances and subdivision covenants require that I install and maintain a lawn.

I'd really like to plant the back yard in alfalfa and clover, and the front yard with bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), switch grass (Panicum virgatum), and Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans). No mowing, no fertilizers, no pesticides. Maybe a bit of weeding early in the growing season.

If the Libertarian Party really wants to increase its membership, it should come out against government interference with lawn care. Let me grow what I want. And let me stop mowing the lawn.


  1. Aren't most such rules and regs made and enforced at the municipal level? Where I live (Oceanside) this can even vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. My '70s neighborhood had, but no longer has, HOA rules. Consequently, all lawncare these days is strictly voluntary.

    What's going to be interesting out here are new rules regarding watering restrictions. As it happens, Oceanside seems blessed to be on a separate independent water authority than even close neighboring communities- we won't have restrictions. We could become a little green oasis amidst desert.

  2. Michael: My advice: Get yourself one of these self-sharpening light-weight babies, pick out a postage stamp-sized area in your front yard to mow, and grow alfalfa everywhere else. You'll love the scissor cut, the clean smell of new-mown hay, the quiet contemplation.

    (Email me at meadelaurence(at)gmail(dot)com if you have any questions. I love to help people love their yards.

  3. @ Meade - Thanks very much. I appreciate and welcome your advice.

    I like hearing the clackata clackata clakata of reel lawnmowers.

    I'm looking into the local ordinances and subdivision covenants in hopes of finding a loophole that will let me plant alfalfa and natural grasses. In the worst case I can bleat something about 'carbon footprint' and see what happens.

    It will probably need to wait until August, however, as I am leaving on a 45 day road trip to Prudhoe Bay in ten days.

  4. This is why I bought a condo. I get to watch people do the mowing and enjoy the smell of fresh cut grass, sitting on my deck - not walking behind a lawn mower.

  5. Meade:
    I've been using one of those since about 1995- never owned a power mower.
    Question for you: I've worn out the flimsy handles on two such push mowers. Which brand is considered a higher quality reel mower?

  6. I just bought a Cub Cadet LTX 1040 law tractor. Way cool.

  7. @AllenS - Do you work for the IRS? A "1040 law tractor" sounds pretty serious.

  8. No, Michael, I'm a retiree, from a blue-collar 4 color web offset press job. The 1040 has a 19 hp Kohler engine, 42" twin-blade mower, automatic transmission, lights, and a place in the top of the left fender to keep a beverage.

  9. Chickenlittle: I think all brands are from the same Shelbyville, Indiana manufacturer. Call this number: 1-800-633-1501 , give them the model number off your mower, and they will send you a replacement handle. They're nice; they're hoosiers.

    Keep the bolts and nuts on the handle snugged down (but you already knew that.) Also, always drink one Wisconsin-brewed beer before starting your mower - for power, strength, and accuracy.

  10. Yo Meade! I just called Great Lakes and they're sending out a replacement handle!

    Thanks for the tip!

  11. That's "Great States" not "Great Lakes" in my 8:40 (my bad).


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