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Too rocky for scythes, what should I do?  RSS feed

 
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The grasses grew so well, and now, beginning of Summer, started to dry and become VERY prickly.
Too dry for lawn mower (danger of grass fire) and too rocky for scythe.
What do you suggest to at least clear the paths on the large property mostly grassland with some oaks?
I know, first thing that comes to mind - grazing. Not an option yet, we come on the weekends only.
Exploring Reel Mower (push mower) but reviews say it s important to keep the grass short by mowing constantly. It our case grass is to my waist now and dry, some is flattened by winds and wildlife (to a knee level). Or will it work?
There should be some other options?
Yours,
Natalya
 
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Not sure I've come across ground truly too rocky for a scythe yet. How do you mean it's rocky? There are many things that could mean. Could be you just need to change your blade for one more appropriate to the mowing conditions, or--worst case scenario--a grass hook would probably handle the work fine. It's just not so fast nor so upright of work as scything.
 
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Location: Bendigo , Australia
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dog homestead
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Use a weed wacker as we call them, they have a nylon cord spinning at high speed, and knock the grass down without any fire risk.
 
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Location: New Hampshire
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Benjamin Bouchard wrote:Not sure I've come across ground truly too rocky for a scythe yet.



LOL, I have yet to come across (in this area) any land flat and smooth enough that a scythe would work.

We use a battery powered string trimmer. Ours is a Dewalt brand. The rocks eat up the string quickly and you damn sure need to wear long pants, but otherwise it works pretty well. And the battery lasts long enough that your hands start getting sore, so when a full battery gets depleted it is time for a break anyway. Just get a bulk order of string.

I do wish someone would make a string trimmer that wasn't so damn hard to reload. I guess they assume everyone using them has really long and incredibly thin fingers. I'd also bet that the designers never actually try their products, or try them in ideal conditions.
 
John C Daley
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Location: Bendigo , Australia
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There are easy to load units about I have used them hear in Australia.
I put some stranded wire in once, that works well with complications that I cannot recall.
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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I have mowed effectively in some pretty rocky and bumpy places. Scythes don't need flat, smooth ground to work well. You just need a blade well matched to the mowing conditions and a little technique.

Niels Johansson has a number of videos that demonstrate the sorts of strokes that are helpful in variegated terrain.
 
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Benjamin Bouchard wrote:Not sure I've come across ground truly too rocky for a scythe yet. How do you mean it's rocky?


She said the grass is up to your waist now, so maybe she means that she knows the area has jumbled rocks sticking up, and if she tries to mow with a scythe she might not see the rocks, and could keep hitting the scythe on rocks.
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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Rebecca Norman wrote:

Benjamin Bouchard wrote:Not sure I've come across ground truly too rocky for a scythe yet. How do you mean it's rocky?


She said the grass is up to your waist now, so maybe she means that she knows the area has jumbled rocks sticking up, and if she tries to mow with a scythe she might not see the rocks, and could keep hitting the scythe on rocks.



That's what the back-stroke is for as you advance to the next cut. Dragging the spine through the grass you'll be cutting so if you can't see the obstruction the back of the blade will feel it. Also, having a "beater" blade for "scouting" purposes is useful in these situations. If you use a tired old blade that's already been subjected to some wear then you don't feel too bad when you find things you shouldn't with it. Tall grasses aren't too tough to cut and just using a coarse stone to erase any damage and getting back to work usually is all that's necessary.
 
pollinator
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Location: Missoula, MT
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Whenever I have to cut over the top of some rocks or logs or whatever, i use a grass whip and choke up on the handle. Be sure to do you cutting early in the morning while the dew is still on the plant, otherwise you'll have a hard time cutting and your blade will go dull in about three schwing-schwings.

Also those huge lawn scissors work ok, but again you have to use them when the dew is still hanging.
 
nataly marchuk
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Wow! What a great variety of advices! Thank you guys!

We will try electric trimmer (is it the same as weed wacker?) next time.
The acerage does not suggest using grass hook or lawn scissors, as we need to clear the paths about 1 mile long.

There are rock outcrops here and there, not constant, so I truly appreciate the idea about checking through tall grass with the back side of the scythe stick. We are yet to learn all the proper techniques

Happy summer!

Natalya
 
John C Daley
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Location: Bendigo , Australia
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Electric trimmer / weed wacker, same thing
 
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Location: Northeast Oklahoma, Formerly Zone 6b, Now Officially Zone 7
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Our Oklahoma weeds and grasses LAUGH at string trimmers.  This is what we use when they get out of control.  Sling blade, or a cane knife if you're from down south.
 
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