no gas for grass?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by awfulestes, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. awfulestes

    awfulestes Well-Known Member

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    I am letting half my yard go long. What will everyone do about cutting the grass with the high gas prices? I will use the chicken tractor some and then maybe rent a cow. LOL what are some of you going to do?
     
  2. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    I'll keep mowing the grass in the orchard (around here, if there isn't turf between the orchard rows your tractor will just sink right on into the mud), because I can't trust the goats and sheep with the fruit trees. I'll also mow between the berry rows and around the garden beds because, again, I can't trust the critters in that area. The rest of it the goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, and guineas can eat to their heart's content. I'll probably go over it a couple times during the summer, but it sure won't be mowed on a weekly schedule.
     

  3. Ole Man Legrand

    Ole Man Legrand Well-Known Member

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    I have 1 acre of yard that has a fence around it. I am going to put 4 horses on it at a time. That should eleminate a lot of mowing. Gas prices here was $289. yesterday.In the next year it will go to about $5.00 a gal. This is going to kill the economy.
     
  4. Dink

    Dink Well-Known Member

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    Ole Man Legrand Im with you I will let my horses mow . :cool:
     
  5. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    I always let my jersey mow high gas prices or not.
     
  6. MsPacMan

    MsPacMan Well-Known Member

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    I am fortunate enough to have a "right sized" compact tractor -- a 33 horse power job with hydrostat tranny. I did not buy it to do mowing (I have one of those Home Depot John Deere's for that job), but if gas gets too expensive, then I'll just brush hog the lawn with the tractor the way I do the pasture surrounding it.

    Also, I live in Tennessee where we can buy farm diesel without paying road taxes. So the cost savings of using the tractor and bush hog come in two forms: 1, the tractor cuts a 5 foot wide path which means less distance to travel as I am cutting, and 2, the fuel used will be tax free.

    I can justify using tax free farm fuel, BTW, by the fact that I rake all the lawn clippings up and put them in the compost pile. (I'm an organic vegetable and fruit gardener.)
     
  7. Valmai

    Valmai Well-Known Member

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    One of my neddies is on the lawn peering through the window as I type this.


    I also put my cows in the orchard behind electric fencing.
     
  8. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    What's a neddie? It sounds so cute I want one!

    The lawn got away from us last summer and as a joke we fenced the sheep onto it. In a week.. short grass. We mowed twice last summer with the push mower, the rest of the time we rotated sheep onto the lawn. Didn't expect it to work nearly as well as it did, but we'll be doing it again this year.
     
  9. BrahmaMama

    BrahmaMama Well-Known Member

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    Gee I never thought about this question!

    I'd love to tether out my goats but I have so many blinkin' trees they get tangled in no time. If I fence off the front yard, which I'd like to do anyway, I know darn well they'll head for the bush and hang out in there! :rolleyes:

    I guess a chicken tractor is in order.
    I'm going to have to get creative here.... :cool:
     
  10. nehimama

    nehimama An Ozark Engineer Supporter

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    LOL! I'll be doing about 1/3 the mowing I did last year. Will have quite a wildlife
    refuge here, I s'pose. Won't be mowing on a weekly basis, either. Just enough to
    keep snakes & vermin from close around the house. Also plan on judicious use of
    the elec weed whacker.

    NeHi Mama
     
  11. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    I gotta totally agree. I have a 6200 kabota diesel 14hp and 4x4. It doesn't really use fuel when mowing. I did like 4 acres last year and it used less than a gallon. That little tractor is the greatest.

    I also have to add......I don't keep a lawn. It's all cut with the bush hog. See I do it like this. In spring it really isn't that long. In summer you can't mow down the wild flowers. Then I cut it in Sept. to get it real short. Then you gotta wait till the leaves blow away. OhH Shoot!!!! It snowed. I gotta get the mower put away.
     
  12. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    The lawn is impossible without lawnmowers, or an army of servants. People without either of those things have a choice of using their 'lawn' for pasture as many of you are saying you will do, or turning it into a vegetable garden -- which would be a very good idea, if you don't already have a large one.

    I will be pasturing geese, ducks, and goats on our acre. I only have five chickens and even though they are in a chicken tractor they won't make much of a dent in an acre.

    I'm also going to contact the absentee owners of the two empty lots across the street and see if I can cut the grass there for hay (won't get much, as it is mostly just a weed lot, and I have no way to water it, which is necessary here in summer).

    Kathleen
     
  13. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    I'm putting up some temporary fence to section off parts of it, and turning the sheep and goats on it until hubby gets back from Afganistan in the fall. Then we'll put permanent fence up together.

    Right now we're mowing almost three acres. That's ridiculous when we have grazing stock. I'll have to protect my trees, and it'll cost for the materials, but it's a one-time cost, not a constant cost like the gas.

    Meg
     
  14. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Little push power mower doesnt use much gas. And my "lawn" isnt very big. Mowing up close to house keeps insects and snakes down. Rest just brush hog couple times a year to keep brush down. At present only thing I'm doing to change is moving my "scrap" to more out of way place so brush hogging is more efficient. Also slowly reclaiming some old pasture that I have let grow up the last decade. Unless diesel becomes liquid gold in price or just plain unavailable, its worth a few gallon per year not to deal with hand clearing brush in future. Brush clearing by hand is taxing on middleaged body. Now if I could borrow that machine that electric company uses for couple days..... One thing I would like to do though is piece together a tractor with an oversize gasoline engine converted to wood gasification. Lot more practical for me in location I am in now than trying to raise enough beans for biodiesel or enough starch to make alcohol. Has to be an oversize engine as wood smoke has lot less energy than gasoline or even alcohol or LPG.
     
  15. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    Mowing Grass? What's that? I haven't mowed since getting critters...they do it for me.

    One of my pet peeves is nice manicured lawns, with all the fertilizers and pesticides and potable water needed to keep them looking nice... even in a drought, the yards get watered... If I were master of the universe, there'd be a hefty 'yard tax', especially if water were used...

    Maybe if gas keeps climbing into the stratosphere, some yards will get xeriscaped, or prairieized...

    sorry for mini rant...
     
  16. Obser

    Obser "Mobile Homesteaders"

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    I have always questioned the wisdom of having a large lawn to mow. The few times in life that I have needed to mow more than just a little bit I have always thought that I had better things to do with my time and energy. Cost was not a factor then, but would be now. I'd rather put the gas in my chainsaw and do something useful.
     
  17. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    My grandpa claims he has his 5 acres of lawn as forest fire protection, Though even then if people are smart and had homesteading values they would get livestock to mow it for them or just let it grow up in flowers and grass for the wildlife.
     
  18. independent

    independent Member

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    Well where I live I have to mow my yard or be fined $100. Now the others in town don't have to but I do. Go figure. I will be clearing out some to make it easier. Guess we just have to do what ever.
     
  19. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    large lawns for kids to play on....baseball, soccer golf....but we will be fencing the bigger gardens and grazing the goats more often....
     
  20. Siryet

    Siryet In Remembrance

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    If possible, remove the lawn and go with a stone front yard as many are doing where water is scarce. Some communities are even paying for the change so people will be willing to do it. Personally I think all new subdivisions should require that all front yards be attractive Stone instead of vegetation that requires watering. JMHO