Thursday, September 7, 2017

Recreational Mowing

Here we are, summer’s almost over and in northcentral Pennsylvania, the cool-season grasses that constitute our lawns have begun putting on their autumnal spurt of growth. Not as vigorous as its growth in the spring, the grasses’ fall growth will nonetheless probably require weekly mowing.

Personally, mowing the lawn isn’t one of my favorite activities – call me crazy if you will, but I’d actually rather shovel snow. To this end our lawn is small, kept that way through the use of groundcovers and native vegetation.

But it’s obvious that not everyone feels that way, some people have LARGE areas of lawn –

Those lawns are fertilized, sprayed and mowed on a regular basis; kept from becoming wildlife habitat or a locale for wildflowers. Large lawns, like our small lawn, require frequent mowing – sometimes that’s done by a hired lawn service, but frequently it’s done by the homeowners on their “toy” tractors painted orange, green, yellow or red. I’ve often thought of those folks playing "farmer" on their large suburban or exurban lots out in the “country”.

A good friend uses the term “recreational mowing” for what those folks are doing. I don’t know whether he originated the term or not, but it sure seems appropriate. It would be interesting to see if sociological or psychological research has been done to determine why those folks enjoy spending hours, and thereby a good portion of the time they’ll have on this earth, on their weekly mowing.

As they mow, they waste fossil fuel, destroy wildlife habitat and eliminate native plants –

These folks need to get a life and find something useful to do with their time.


  1. LOL! Agreed! I get the kids to cut our grass.

  2. Every guy with a big lawn like that to mow is a frustrated farmer. They should get on a real tractor and do some work. Like you, I keep our lawn small and let the rest go to meadow - which after several years is spectacularly beautiful compared to a dull boring lawn.

  3. Couldn't agree more, Woody. Acres of lawn is total insanity! I think of all those starving sheep in areas of drought and cringe! And as if deforestation wasn't bad enough to wreck our planet ... big lawns?!? Gr-r-r-r-r!!!

  4. Somewhere I read that de-foresting land around a house and replacing trees with big lawns is a throwback to those days when people needed a clear view of potential intruders and hostiles. Not sure I buy into that idea, but just thought I'd throw it out. I must confess though that I love the smell of fresh curt grass and hay.

  5. Lawns are such a waste! And boring, as well.


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