Spring mowing

It’s amazing how fast the grass grows in the spring, and this time of year it seems like all we can do to keep up with stuff growing.  The orchard was still practically asleep when last I was up there 2 weeks ago, and today the grass was thigh-high.

Dave bought a used 5′ rear-deck mower to replace the 4′ unit we’ve been using for the last 30 years, so I hooked it up and gave it a try.  It’s too big for the 25hp Kubota, but works well on the 50hp.  That tractor (mostly its bucket) is a bit big for convenient maneuvering in among the trees, but it has power steering and a crazy tight turning radius, so it actually worked out OK.  At lunch I read in the manual how to remove the front-end loader, so next time I’ll give it a shot – should make a huge difference.

The mower leaves a lot of grass still in the rows, so I went at them with a two-handled Stihl brushcutter.  I started out with a four-blade grass-cutting disk, but it wasn’t very aggressive, so I switched over to a string trimmer head – burned through a lot of string but it did the job.  It was around 80 and super humid, so I was drenched by the time I was done, but the orchard looks great and the trees will appreciate the lack of competition. It’s amazing how different the orchard feels when it’s freshly mowed. Emily has been doing a great job killing tent caterpillars, and someone in Five Islands has bees, so despite our lack of a hive we should get some pollination.

It’s been quite dry so I hooked up the siphon from the pond and filled buckets to water the trees we planted in the spring; Emily hauled pails and watered trees while I finished the string trimming.  The tide was pretty high by late afternoon so I jumped in the cove to cool off – the water is definitely not frolicking-temperature yet, but it wasn’t too bad.

Late in the day Aunt Weez arrived from Hopkins, so we caught up for a bit  before I hit the road for home.  She has written a book called Mother Time with a cool concept – it’s basically linked stories of thirty generations of women, starting in the present and going backwards in time, daughter to mother to grandmother.  I’m going to download it on my phone.  .

 

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