First cut of the season puts a hop in the dog’s step

Took you a long time to mow this year, pops.

Took you a long time to mow this year, pops.

No rain. A tiny break in the schedule.

The mower came out of the shed late yesterday afternoon at last.

I do believe May 4 is the latest I’ve pushed the cutter around the lawn to start the spring season at our home in the Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood in the 10 years since my dear wife Karen and I moved in.

It had gotten high. It had gotten wet.

Even Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle enjoyed the lush green this morning. I appreciated the crisp lines.

Yes, this is the proper week to get the grass and garden cuttings out front for pickup.

Yes, this is the proper week to get the grass and garden cuttings out front for pickup.

Even better, the timing allowed me to put the bag of new clippings and the bag of winter collection out front for the city truck. This is the week designated for grass and yard waste pickup in our quadrant.

That brown lump to the right is what I poured out of the wheelbarrow, the result of my great sod from garden-dig experiment of the fall.

Here is sod removed to make way for a new garden in Syracuse, N.Y., come spring 2014.

How much sod did I take out of the new garden extension? Lots.

The top layer remained dead grass with a layer of definable soil. I placed that into the bag of pine cones and Ellie B bombs that Karen had collected earlier this spring.

The city workers come around with a backhoe that picks these things up to dump onto the truck. I figured the muddy mess is as easily scooped from the street straight as in a bag.

So now the weekly mowing begins. Talking to friends on Sunday, I was boasting a bit about how it takes me about a half hour, tops, to complete the cut.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Have you mowed your lawn yet this spring? How long does it take you to cut your lawn? Do you push mow or do you have a rider? Is your push mower a self-propelled? Is it one of the non-engine reel cutters? How big is your lawn? Do you hire out and let somebody else do the job? How much do they charge you?

55 thoughts on “First cut of the season puts a hop in the dog’s step

  1. hilarious!
    yes, I’ve mowed twice already this year!
    and it’s a heavy push thing, does the job great and takes about 20 minutes,
    the robins and magpies love it as it makes for easy worm hunting πŸ™‚


  2. The husband has mowed quite a few times. But mostly because our fabulous neighbor keeps cutting his. Which makes ours look bad. And we don’t want to look bad to the neighbors we love. So we cut the grass. πŸ™‚


  3. Yesterday seems to have been the official Lawn Mowing Day everywhere, Mark. Big bro Tony spent most of his day out cutting about 6 inches off his massive lawn, had to do it in layers. So much rain lately he couldn’t get out any earlier to mow, so it all accumulated. Since he also mows for his disabled neighbor, it takes a bit longer. And since both live in a suburb full of huge houses on huge lawns, that doesn’t help much either.


  4. I just love the smell of fresh cut grass – especially on a wet day – it reminds me of school days. happy school days! We have an electric lawn mower and have cut the grass three times so far. Steve twice, me once.


  5. oops, this reminds me, i had better get to it ) my yard at the cottage is tiny, takes about 20 minutes to mow, and i’m naturalizing part of the yard with vine and flowers. i can take a hint and will get busy this week, it does seem late this year, on my side of the world, as well.


    • My cutting time was shortened when we put the triangle butterfly garden in the back, so I know where you’re coming from with the naturalized vine-and-flower thing, Beth. Swinging idea, there. Haha. I bet our yards AND our houses are similar-sized in our university cities.


  6. It’s good that you got out there before June, and then the truck will take away your clippings. It feels so good to get rid of things! We’re mowing twice a week now (I’m about to hit the back yard in a few minutes). I just started using a pushmower last week because it is much quieter on my old ears, but much harder on my biceps. I guess that means it’s not self-propelled. I don’t even know what that is. This thing has blades, and I push it. Hard. Probably a good thing to expend calories and get Vitamin D in the sunlight. Well, summer is on it’s way, and you’ll be wearing tank tops in no time! No, I hope not. TT are unforgivable.


    • 1. A self-propelled mower has little lever things that turn the wheels so all you have to do is walk behind it and guide the handle. I do not have one. Like you, I use the biceps and push.

      2. Twice a week? God lawd, Kerbey, what are you feeding your lawn?

      3. Tank tops, never. I need my golfer’s tan.


  7. I currently have the world’s largest dandelion jungle. My mower shot craps over the winter and is in a long line to be fixed at the repair shop. I’m in no hurry to get it back, so long as the city doesn’t see how much I’m helping preserve the native flora…


    • About 15 years ago, after I got divorced and moved into a rural trailer home on a big field that my sister rented to me, the riding mower immediately broke down. Broke was the operative word for me, too, so the lawn grew about four feet high until a neighbor got disgusted, stopped by with his REAL tractor and cut it for like three bucks.

      Do you have a nice neighbor with a real tractor ESN?


  8. Good morning, Mark. I have very mixed feelings about lawns. Where I live, landscape workers make so much noise … arrrghhh! Also, I’m too interested in other things (at first I wrote “I’m too lazy”, but I changed that) to spend a lot of time on a lawn, so I have chosen to live places where there isn’t much of a lawn. Where we live now, there are bushes and other kinds of ground-cover and flora. I also wonder about lawns and the environment. However, I LOVE the smell of freshly cut grass and I grew up with a backyard with a lawn that I enjoyed, in many ways. Believe it or not, lawns are a topic that bf Michael and I spend a lot of time discussing, as we walk around the neighborhood. In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to your beautifully green lawn, today.


    • Karen and I also comment about yard landscapes we admire as we walk our neighborhood, Ann. That is enjoyable!

      As far as our lawn goes, all I really do is cut it, and pick up the numerous pine cones from the neighbor’s towering pines. With Ellie B roaming the back, there are holes and pits and brown spots … it’s her back yard as far as the grass goes. We two humans, though, own the triangle fenced off as the butterfly garden.

      In the front, the grass grows green and full just because we get plenty of rain around here, I think.

      And, as I write about plenty (I hope not too much), we love our front gardens, too, for color and soothing moments.

      Thanks for dropping by to stroll the grounds, Ann. You don’t need a yard when neighbor’s let you come by whenever you wish.


  9. I always tried to make my yard look like a baseball field.
    Let us know when you have to follow the dog around with a shovel and plastic bag….
    Dog poop is hard on mowers….and tennis shoes. LOL!


    • Karen has volunteered for shovel duty. We have purchased a special doggie long-handled scooper and a designated Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle pail. My dear wife volunteered for this chore because she had our wonderful rescue mutt Lissa when we started dating. And somehow that pact has been extended.

      As far as the mowing goes, the back I angle according to the fence. In the front, though, I alternate directions every four weeks. One week horizontal. (Yesterday.) Next week vertical. Third week diagonal. Fourth week opposite diagonal. Back to horizontal and on through the summer. The too-hopeful result is the baseball field of which you speak. More like a bocce court, though, Trey.


      • It is good that you keep your woman under control and the lawn as well…LOL!!
        Just make sure she isn’t secretly laying out a spot for a grave….
        You always gotta watch them….
        Be vigilante.


      • I have now become a “regular” of your writings… Here from Tulsa, OK. I have been mowing since the last week of February. My grass is not as green as yours.. ( Must be the fact that it is “snow fed..” I mow both directions every Saturday. 1.5 hours including trim. Have two dogs, a golden doodle and a Kerry Blue Terrier. ( They leave dirt spots in the back yard.) Also, if my wife ever “picked up after the dogs,” I would know it because there would be a “That’s Incredible…” film crew at my house…..


      • I have a feeling that Tulsa town is very, very dry compared to back here in upstate New York, Shultsie. Besides the snow-fed, we do have that rain every-other-hour thing in the spring going on, too, it seems. Although today is quite sunny, yay, but temp-topping just short of 60. I went out in short sleeves anyway..

        You have a big lawn, it sounds like. I did when I lived in Morrisville, and it took me about 1.5 to mow it, like you. But these last 10 years I am much happier in our downsized city plot.

        Two dogs. That must be a bundle of fun. Show your wife my blog and say, “Look, Karen carries the scooper in their yard in Syracuse ……”

        I like this blog conversation with you! Just like when we were young and foolish college kids.


  10. I mow the back; hire out the front (because they trim the hedges: a job I detest)
    Backyard takes about twenty minutes using a push mower that was once self-propelled, but that part broke down. Now it is solely Lance-Propelled.


    • You have hedges!

      I have once certain big and high front yard bush that I detest clipping because they are thorny and prick me through my long sleeves and garden gloves.

      I am like you, Lance. If the self-propel went and the Mark-propel still got the job done, the mower would remain in the shed.


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