4 Laws of Lawn Mowing

Hi! Pete Moss here with 4 Laws of Lawn Mowing.

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Time to fire up the mower, get out and enjoy the spring air while cutting the grass. From now ‘til November, when you’re mowing up fallen leaves, it’s a weekly chore. And like guys do, we have laws involved. These are from Vince Staten and come from his excellent book, Did Monkeys Invent the Monkey Wrench? I have adapted them a bit.

  1. The lawn mower always runs out of gas at a point equidistant from the gas can and a cold beer. And oh, that cold beer has such a gravitational pull!
  2. Grass grows in inverse proportion to how busy you are. When you have the least amount of time to mow, your lawn grows like a rain forest.
  3. Lawn mowers take as long to repair as you want them to. Need to mow next week, your mower will be done. Want to take a few weeks off from mowing, no problem, the parts are on order, it’ll be awhile!
  4. The grass is always greener when you fertilize. A friend of mine used to call fertilizing “Feeding the enemy.” When I’m mowing on a hot day in August, I often think the same thing. Guys: why do we create so much extra work for ourselves?

So why do we mow? Why is green grass, cut evenly and maintained, so attractive to us? That is hard to wrap up here, but this practice does go back to the middle ages. Back then grass was shortened for picnic areas by pounding it down. Later, hand cutting grass with a scythe became the thing. Walking behind your mower in July a little too tiring for you? Try getting your scythe out, and then see how nice your mower is!

In 1830 Edward Budding adapted a machine designed to shear the nap off velvet to cut grass. The reel mower was born, and teenage boys immediately had to come up with excuses to get out of mowing the lawn. Reel mowers are reely a lot of work.

Gas powered mowers came in around the turn of the 20th century and were a big hit. By the mid 1950’s most mowers had what we now think of as a normal design, with a horizontal rotating blade. Then came self-propelled mowers, riding mowers, and the hovering, laser- cut robo-mowers, but perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself.

Rest assured that your local Ace Hardware store can help you with your mowing needs this season. We have many brands and models including Craftsman, Toro, Husqvarna, and Poulan. Mowers have come a long way. No hand-operated scythes here, the new features they have are really worthwhile.  If you’re tired of fighting with your old mower maybe you need to know the 5th law of lawn mowing: Ace is the place with the helpful lawn mower folks!