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Mowing high...?

Margaret Yoder

Joined: May 12, 2010
Posts: 7
What's the best way to figure how high you're mowing? We have an ancient riding mower with 5 settings. Say we mow it at the highest setting... then would I just go around the lawn with ruler, and shove it down into the lawn and measure?

My real problem is that we've been mowing pretty high ( I think) but then throwing the clippings out into the woods. We've found that if we let them lie, the grass under the piles of clippings dies. We have a huge lawn (30,000 square feet I guess), and don't mow very often. We have to wait until the grass is dry enough and how often does that happen? Especially in a spring like this one. Even if it were dry, it's hard to want to mow twice a week with busy lives and small children.

So the soil is eroding away down to the clay, getting worse and worse. We live in the country in Ohio. Sigh. I guess there's no good answer short of (a) spending LOTS of money on stuff like compost to add, or (b) spending all our free time mowing. I don't really want to fertilize even, as that seems like it would only make the grass grow faster.

I guess I'm just complaining, and know the answer... which is wait about 2 years until the child is old enough that I have more free time, and then start working to repair the damage we're doing. 
duane hennon

Joined: Sep 23, 2010
Posts: 391
Location: western pennsylvania zone 5/a

  hi Clarabear

do we need to mow 30,000 sq ft?
is it used as a playfield?
can some be put into wildflowers (not mowed)
unless you have a restriction (homeowners ass'c, township ordinance, etc) the line between "yard" and "not yard" is yours. when someone asks "why aren't you moving over there?,,you can say "because that's not yard"
Margaret Yoder

Joined: May 12, 2010
Posts: 7
Sadly, my husband wants the lawn to look perfect all the time - even though our neighbors actually sort of make fun of us for keeping it so nice! They're all more permaculturally correct  than we are. I feel I'm doing well to keep him from poisoning the weeds - an argument we have every summer, it seems. So unless I had the time to replace the lawn with something even fancier (perennial beds?) and more pretty, I'm sort of stuck with it.
subject: Mowing high...?
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