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fokken gas mowers

 
Posts: 15
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
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I am not liking my riding mower as well as my push mower (gas) cause I just don't want to be spending my time on maintenance gas water, etc mowing grass.All I want is to plant and water plants that I can eat. Green groomed lawns…..who needs it! Been working on this for a few years now but I still have to mow ARGH!
 
Posts: 84
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Susan Boyce wrote:All I want is to plant and water plants that I can eat. Green groomed lawns…..who needs it! Been working on this for a few years now but I still have to mow ARGH!


Trade your gas mower in for an 8" diameter gas rotor tiller....pretty sure that'll take care of your groomed grass area in  couple weekends :)
 
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Does it have a bagger attachment for it?   Grass clippings make wonderful mulch.
 
Posts: 119
Location: Zone 7a, 42", Fairfax VA Piedmont (clay, acidic, shady)
21
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I still mow my "grass" a lot... mainly to keep the trees/vine/thorns from taking over (though I don't mow areas I want to "hedge up").  At some point when my soil is more bacterially dominated I may be able to get more flowers/cover crops going, and just mow pathways.  But it is nice to be able to maintain access to certain areas that otherwise would have ticks (no free-range ducks yet, and they would be limited anyway to the back yard).  I discovered the self-propelled push Husqvarna with the big rear wheels goes great up hills and brambles!

The mulch is a great stacking function!
 
pioneer
Posts: 93
Location: Monticello Florida
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homeschooling forest garden foraging chicken wofati food preservation wood heat homestead
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Would a sheep work? If that's too big, would you consider guinea pigs? I hear that they eat grass.
 
gardener
Posts: 840
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
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It is difficult to get rid of all mowing right away, but there are ways to reduce the work.

The first thing we suggest is cutting your grass as high as possible to encourage deep roots and to shade the ground. My mower cuts at just over 4", but that required new holes drilled to hold the axles and larger diameter wheels. I don't bag, because the clippings feed the lawn and grass is a fairly heavy feeder, and because I've got a cheap, 30 year old, 18" gas mower that doesn't have a bag. If it did, I'd be tempted to just bag in the fall when there are leaves on the grass.

The second thing is to only water paths that will get walked on. If the grass goes brown, consider that it deserves a summer holiday, and that's exactly what grass was meant to do. Around here, we call them "Golden Lawns" and they are a sign of ecological awareness.

The third thing is to start introducing other species to your lawn. One fall I planted crocus bulbs in clusters - that's a good way to get neighbors on your side because it's pretty hard to get angry about a spring crocus! A multi-species lawn with low flowers and forbs helps to support the native bees which are in danger of extinction.

Be prepared to educate your neighbors if you're in a fussy urban area. Sometimes your lawn will educate them all on its own. I once had a neighbor who cut his lawn putting green short and watered it every day. I knew he didn't like my "shag carpet" lawn, but I said nothing. One day he mowed past the lot line to the edge of my driveway which was only about 2 1/2 feet away. The grass he mowed so short, promptly died. Now he had to look at dead grass, as it was totally not the right time of year to fix it. Building tolerance is a slow process and won't always work out the first time!

If you want more ideas, I suggest you go and read this article: https://richsoil.com/lawn-care.jsp
 
Posts: 55
Location: West Virginny and Kentuck
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Josh Garbo wrote: I discovered the self-propelled push Husqvarna with the big rear wheels goes great up hills and brambles!



Now that sounds interesting.  I'm babying my old self-propelled Simplicity because I love it so much.  And it's no longer being made.  I heard directly from the company (sad face)

Like you, I have to mow to just keep some control of the rampant growth.  I'm converting my meadow into fruit trees and beds, but if I didn't mow the edges and paths, it would all be honey locust/sumac woods in just a couple years.  My Simplicity takes on shoulder high orchard grass and thistle and just hums it's way through.  But my wilder slope below that is rougher and full of blackberries/honeysuckle/multiflora rose and random saplings.  I haven't ventured into that mess except on foot, but mowed pathways would make it much easier to manage and harvest.
 
Posts: 115
Location: winston oregon
cattle forest garden greening the desert
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Lately I've then interested in Allan savory because his work is far easier to scale than permaculture and permaculture is more suited to enhancing Allan Savory's work in a Silvo pasture or agroforestry format. If you want to make a living from permaculture then I can't recommend getting used to raising livestock more. Doing so in your own yard is it good starting point. Especially if you live in a rural area area where you can rent land like Joel salatin. You could also set up a lease deal for 10 or 20 years where you work the land in exchange for not paying money. There is a YouTube channel called 1 2 3 Home Free where this homeless Shepherd guy goes around with a couple of sheep and works as a shepherd for room and board for the local producers. While i understand this was supposed to be about lawmowers i figured mentioning this would be more useful. But what do i know im the guy who prefers sythes to any sort of machine.
 
Josh Garbo
Posts: 119
Location: Zone 7a, 42", Fairfax VA Piedmont (clay, acidic, shady)
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Unfortunately I’m not allowed to have sheep where I live.  I actually don’t mow more than 3-4 times/year; I basically allow grass to grow to seed, and then bag (much of it ends up still going into mulch), and I do this rotationally in thin strips on contour, so I keep some tall grass and wildflowers going.  Hoping this mulch with grass seeds will sprout, when placed on bare areas.  I’ve only been mowing when I know there’s rain and moderate temps in the following week, to get good regen.  Now I need to think about modding the mower to mow higher!

Eventually when I get more trees growing they should shade things out a bit and maybe slow down the grass growth.  I will keep trying to get N-fixing, lower-growing ground-covers going, but now am mostly growing ryegrass and crabgrass.  I only aerate, lime, and spread some gypsum – no fertilizer or watering. Thinking that Crown Vetch and White Clover may work best to put N into my acidic clay soils and minimize mowing needs.

Ruth – I rented one of those walk-behind brush hogs to remove brambles kinda like you described, but now I’m able to just use a regular push mower for everything.  The bramble area needs heavy mowing to keep it clear; hoping to get more grass there this fall, and get the area more bacterially dominated.
 
Ruth Meyers
Posts: 55
Location: West Virginny and Kentuck
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connor burke wrote:Lately I've then interested in Allan savory because his work is far easier to scale



That name was unfamiliar to me, though I've read some of Joel Salatin's books and seen him on film.  Went searching in my local library catalog and found not his work, but an author more local to me, based on his work.  'The independent farmstead : growing soil, biodiversity, and nutrient-dense food with grassfed animals and intensive pasture management' by Shawn and Beth Dougherty.  They are Ohioans.

That homeless shepherd - was he doing "Rent-a-Ruminant" ?  I've thought it an interesting business opportunity - using goats (primarily) to clear land inaccessible to machinery.

Josh, I've thought of doing just that, but the logistics are difficult for me.  So I mainly chip away at the task with hand tools.  If I were on site all the time, more would get done.  I'm a year away from retirement and chomping at the bit.
 
Jay Angler
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Posts: 840
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
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Connor Burke wrote:

Lately I've then interested in Allan savory because his work is far easier to scale than permaculture.

I had written exchanges with Alan Savory (Holistic Management) in the past and he clearly stated at that time that his method was difficult to scale down to the level of a couple of acres. His method is based on "mob grazing" - a large group of herbivores kept moving quickly across the land with the land given lots of time to rest before being grazed again. It's normally managed by a full-time shepherd in Africa where he did his work, or in North America, with electric fencing. I've tried to move electric fencing, as did a more experienced farm friend, and it is a time consuming PITA to do alone. A group of 3-4 on a large farm makes it look easy (see some of Geoff Lawton's videos about chickens). Maybe that would be a good separate thread - how to use and manage electric fencing solo without swearing!
 
Susan Boyce
Posts: 15
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
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I am not interested in buying another piece of equipment run by nasty gasoline and tillers destroy the soil web and spread seeds everywhere.
I am digging at least a foot down and removing all the deep roots from grass and weeds, ' very time consuming and laborious. I'm getting the results I want, its just not fast enough so I make do by throwing down cardboard to mulch and installing beds of all kinds to get more food in the ground for the summer season here. I have a reel mower that I can push in-between beds but won't be using it until more grass is removed since the job is too big right now. I only have 3/4 of an acre and about a third of it has evergreens mostly cedars on it but the grass and weeds are still growing around them since the trees are only about 15 yrs old now. Can't wait to sell those gasoline mowers! I love Geoff Lawton the king of permaculture!
 
connor burke
Posts: 115
Location: winston oregon
cattle forest garden greening the desert
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Ruth Meyers wrote:

connor burke wrote:Lately I've then interested in Allan savory because his work is far easier to scale



That name was unfamiliar to me, though I've read some of Joel Salatin's books and seen him on film.  Went searching in my local library catalog and found not his work, but an author more local to me, based on his work.  'The independent farmstead : growing soil, biodiversity, and nutrient-dense food with grassfed animals and intensive pasture management' by Shawn and Beth Dougherty.  They are Ohioans.

That homeless shepherd - was he doing "Rent-a-Ruminant" ?  I've thought it an interesting business opportunity - using goats (primarily) to clear land inaccessible to machinery.

Josh, I've thought of doing just that, but the logistics are difficult for me.  So I mainly chip away at the task with hand tools.  If I were on site all the time, more would get done.  I'm a year away from retirement and chomping at the bit.



as far as i know he is just raising a few of his own for company and milk while he travels around and shepards other peoples critters on their land.
 
connor burke
Posts: 115
Location: winston oregon
cattle forest garden greening the desert
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Jay Angler wrote:Connor Burke wrote:

Lately I've then interested in Allan savory because his work is far easier to scale than permaculture.

I had written exchanges with Alan Savory (Holistic Management) in the past and he clearly stated at that time that his method was difficult to scale down to the level of a couple of acres. His method is based on "mob grazing" - a large group of herbivores kept moving quickly across the land with the land given lots of time to rest before being grazed again. It's normally managed by a full-time shepherd in Africa where he did his work, or in North America, with electric fencing. I've tried to move electric fencing, as did a more experienced farm friend, and it is a time consuming PITA to do alone. A group of 3-4 on a large farm makes it look easy (see some of Geoff Lawton's videos about chickens). Maybe that would be a good separate thread - how to use and manage electric fencing solo without swearing!


im more interested in savory's 10+ acreage system because its less human labor and has the potential to regenerate more land than permaculture though going large scale. im thinking its better not to limit yourself to a 1 person set up in order to do the most good.
 
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