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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | Apr 6, 2012

I have never been a fan of lawns or more specifically, lawn mowing. To me, a lawn is a necessary evil, something has to be done, but I do not have to like it.

I remember my dad doing the mowing when I was around age 6 with a reel-type mower powered by a motor that he started by winding a rope around a pulley and yanking it for all he was worth, usually several times.

My dad assigned me lawn mowing duties at 10. By then he had replaced the former mower with a push type that had a horizontal blade. We had a good-sized lawn, and I believe once I started mowing I was finished about two hours later.

Then a week or so would go by, usually on a Saturday, I would be told that the lawn needs mowing. Again.

I guess that is why I am not a fan of lawns and lawn mowing. It is a job that is never done. Being finished is a temporary condition.

I like jobs that have a start and an end. That is one of the reasons I like farming.

In the spring the job is to get the seed in the ground. Once the seed is in the ground the tillage and planting equipment are put away for another year.

Then we move on to the next task at hand, which is weed control. By mid-summer everything is getting tall and weed control is done. Then comes harvest and away we go.

During all this time the grass is growing on the lawn and interrupts what I am doing because it needs to be cut. Again.

Fortunately, the push mower now does just the trimming and I can ride while mowing.

My dad did not buy a riding mower until the kids were gone and he had to do the mowing. He probably was not the only dad who did that.

Our new lawn was seeded last December and we are watching the first growth appear and as the days go by, start filling in until it is now more green than brown.

The grass will spend this summer getting its root system established and next spring it will be as if it has been a lawn for years instead of a weedy pasture of the previous years before we moved here.

Neither my wife nor I are great fans of lawn care. We want a lawn that looks nice, but that is all. Our lawn has been laid out to be an expanse of green that can be mowed as easily and quickly as possible. That is it.

So while I do not care for grass that much, I can definitely appreciate a root system. Both the grass and I have the goal of having a good root system.

Until a good root system is in place, other things are not possible.

The grass and I are working on getting established in our new location so we can be prepared for the years ahead of us.

Once our roots are established, we can settle into the normal routine of days, weeks, months, and the seasons, which will of course include lawn mowing along with everything else.

Where ever I lived, starting with the farm I grew up until the new location I am in now, having a good root system was a requirement for everything else.

A good root system holds things in place and provides for growth.

I will remind myself of that as I am grumbling about having to mow the lawn again this summer.

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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