Tending the Lawn in Valparaiso

I worked remotely today, heading out to Valparaiso early in the AM. I think I got going around 6:30, and got settled in around 7:45 AM there.

From that moment on, even though I was only working a half day… things were pretty busy. I was flitting back and forth between loads of laundry, attending meetings, and trying to squeeze in a little coding time.

I meant to stop at 1:00 PM, and eventually pulled myself away around 1:30 PM. From there, I hopped on Bob’s John Deere mower and spent a good while trying to cover the lawn.

My own lawn has a fairly small footprint: I can likely knock it out in about 45 minutes or less. Here in Valparaiso, the lawn is significantly larger. And grows at quite the clip, I’ve been told.

Even with the riding mower, I was out for a solid 2.5 hours. I’m not sure the overall size, but it’s definitely up there. And included a few hills (and a retention pond). Got stuck a few times but, thankfully, was able to reverse and get myself un-stuck.

After looking over my work, I noticed large areas where all the clippings had more or less settled like a thick blanket on top of the grass. Concerned about this, I talked with Bob and learned he had a sweeper attachment – which I then hooked up.

Spent about an hour and a half going over any thick problem areas I could spot, and hopefully got a lot of that moved off the lawn itself.

The riding mower has a large footprint, which definitely made things much easier. But even so, it took a long while to cover everything. And I’m hoping I didn’t leave any missed spots.

Bob tells me his lawn grows around an inch per day, and that he tries to cut around once every four days or so. And that things get a lot harder (and out of control) if he deviates too much off that schedule.

As I was mowing, I watched a neighbor of his float by his lawn on a fancy, zero-turn type mower. I swear that at a distance, it looked like he was rocketing by on a yellow Land Speeder (like the one from Star Wars).

I waved back to him when he waved at me once. But while that may have been a wave of kindness, a part of me wonders if it was a wave of pity. The riding mower was way better than a self-propelled push mower, but what I was using paled in comparison to his machine. I daresay his mower was better than my actual car.

Keeping a suburban yard mowed is definitely something I hadn’t experienced before. I knew it needed a lot of work, but I’ve got a better appreciation of just how much work is involved. And how a more expensive mower totally makes sense, given the time needed to keep a sizeable lawn in check.

Backyard Sunday: Mowing the Grass for the First Time
Unattended Lawn

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