Friday, June 10, 2011

Mowing The Back 40...

This morning I headed out to mow the back 40...40 inches that is!  Well, not really.  For this area I guess our yard is bigger than a lot of them which is one of the reasons we bought here.  Also, I knew how important the big trees would be for shade.

I've only mowed once since spring.  Very unusual, but our back doesn't get mowed as much as the front anyway.  Because of the shade the St. Augustine grass won't grow and it's too hot for Fescue so our backyard is Monkey Grass and weeds.  Monkey Grass is normally used around the edge of flower beds or trees.  It's not usually grown in place of regular grass, but we didn't have a choice.  It sends out runners and spreads.  I keep it high where I want it to edge something and then mow the rest shorter.  It grows rather slowly compared to regular grass.  It needs very little care and up until this year I thought it could grow with never being watered.  However, we haven't had a good rainfall since January and even the Monkey Grass has been dying out.  I started watering the back when I realized, but now they're asking us to mow on even or odd numbered days depending upon the address.  Starting Monday we can't water at all because there's a broken water main that they'll start repairing then and the water pressure will go down.  I'm not sure how long the repair will take, so I'll water tomorrow for sure.

These pictures show how the Monkey Grass is dying where it has to compete with the trees for water.  I guess the trees are winning.

This is along the garage wall and usually it's filled with ferns, but only a few came up this year because of the lack of rain. 

This is where the Monkey Grass edges a small deck we have in the backyard.  It should be all green.

You might have noticed in some of the pictures my Naughty Gnomes.  I thought they were kind of cute mixed in with the nice gnomes.  The ones I have aren't too naughty and make me smile when I see them peeking out from behind the tall Monkey Grass.  I bought them online from a company in NJ.

Yesterday, someone wrote on their blog about their new self propelled lawn mower.  Since I had mine out this morning I thought I'd show you a picture.  This is Old Bessie and she's a real work horse.  We bought her in 1986 or 87 before we left Houston and moved to Oklahoma for a couple of years.  That's how I can place the time frame.  She starts up with the first pull of the cord, but now burns oil just like an old car.  One of these days the EPA is going to come along while I'm mowing to see where the smoke is coming from.  We've only had her tuned up a few times over the years.  My husband does change the oil and spark plug each year.  When you consider the fact that we mow about nine months of the year it's pretty amazing that she still runs.  Every year we think this will be the year we'll need a new one.  In case you're wondering Old Bessie is a Honda self propelled mower.  She cost about $500 and that's about what they still cost today.  Before that we bought cheap lawn mowers at places like Kmart and replaced them every few years.  I'll never own anything but a Honda again.

And here's a cute wagon I found at an estate sale a while back for $15.  I thought it would make cute yard art, but I want my husband to drill holes in the bottom so if we ever get rain again it won't rust as quickly.

Have a good weekend!


  1. Hi, Betty, you know things are bad when the monkey grass starts dying. Hope we all get rain soon. I had a mower once that lasted for years; unfortunately I had no idea of how to take care of a mower, so it finally died. Probably would have lasted forever if I had taken care of it. Rain!

  2. Wish I could pass over to you some of our rain here in Spain!

    XOXO Lola:)

    PS Love yr H post too!

  3. I hate to mow grass! But know you need rain - we are a bit dry too - not as bad as you.

    Holes in a wagon - kind of makes sense - IF you had rain!

  4. Sure sounds sad when monkey grass is dying..... it normally grows like weeds.

    I can't believe how hot and dry it is... sure hope we all get some rain (but not too much)....

  5. I hope you get some rain soon! January was a long, long time ago!

  6. I like your gnomes! Hope you get the rain you need soon.

  7. I hate struggling all summer to keep the grass alive. Some day I'm gonna astro turf the whole thing and be done with it!


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