# The theory behind the riding mower

Page 1 of 2
• posted on May 15, 2006, 11:27 pm
In the fifties, there was a groundswell among consumers to do work in less time, and take that extra time to go fishing or spend quality time with the family.
So, in comes the riding mower. The idea was that what once took you four hours to do with inefficient tools would now take one hour, net gain three hours for napping or fishing or golfing, or whatever.
Didn't happen.
Net result of riding lawnmowers?
You could have more grass.
Same with most "labor saving" devices. You don't save time, which is then squandered on frivolous pursuits. You can do more work in the same amount of time, so now you can have and maintain more "stuff."
Steve

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on May 16, 2006, 1:01 am

You are so right. Consider the modern washer and dryer. In the old days, only the wealthy could afford to change clothes several times a day and have the dirty ones cleaned. Now, it is *easy* to wash and dry clothes, so we just wear more different items and wash clothes more frequently. We probably spend just as much or more time doing laundry today as ever...
Computers are another time consumer. Used to be we spent an hour figuring up something (say business options) using paper and pencil. Today, we invest the same hour but get ten times the number of options, figured down to the 2nd decimal place. The extra options are generally non-starters, and figuring guesstimates down to the 2nd decimal place is pretty much a waste of time...

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on May 16, 2006, 1:02 am
Yeah I never could figure out why folks want really large yards that are all grass. Often driving through the country you see houses on about five acres all grass. Oh well, each to his own.

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on May 16, 2006, 1:57 am

When you have 5 acres of lawn, you have enough money to pay someone else to mow it.
Bob

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on May 18, 2006, 11:57 pm

not around middle georgia...land is fairly cheap..I have 15 acres on a modest income from a one job family.I only have 1 acre of grass though...lol

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on May 19, 2006, 3:47 pm
digitalmaster:

How cheap? How much would 15 acres set me back? Wooded or field, with access.
--
Mac Cool

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on May 16, 2006, 5:53 am

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on May 16, 2006, 11:41 am
wrote:

===============================I can not figure out why some people want to live in a home with a small yard..
So I guess you are correct ...to each his own....
Bob G..

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on May 17, 2006, 1:23 am

There nothing like getting out at the crack of dawn, turning on your riding mower, putting a cooler of Lawnmower Ale in back, and start cutting. It takes about two and a half beers per acre. When you're done, you clean up the mower, go inside, mention how tired you are, and crash. It's terrific.
Just make sure you leave your wive a list of every thing you need for your Sunday morning two six-pack project!
Dick

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on May 16, 2006, 1:25 am
i remember when mowing on a riding tractor seemed relaxing ..now the zero turns with more horepower and manuverability make it a quick as you can chore. (by choice i know) i remember when i was growing up hearing that in the future with all the new inventions to come,life would be easy,and there would be alot more spare time. .........but in reality, as far as work goes, they push you just as hard to get more done. guess your gettin old when you say.."i remember when....."... lucas
http://www.minibite.com/america/malone.htm

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on May 16, 2006, 1:44 am
Steve B writes:

A lawn is the price of some privacy from the rest of the world. More lawn is more privacy, but the area grows as the square of the separation distance.

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on May 16, 2006, 1:50 am
Richard J Kinch wrote:

Well, sorta. In reality space is the buffer, i.e., more room between you and the next guy. The undesireable IMO result is lawn as you have to do -something- with that vast expanse or you have a jungle or a hayfield.
Harry K

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on May 16, 2006, 5:05 am

Plant trees. Less effort in the long run, far more effective in producing privacy (and sound deadening).
[10 acres, less than 1/4 acre needs to be mowed.]
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on May 17, 2006, 1:10 am

Never seen the opening like you describe. I did a house years ago for a man who owned a window company. He had a double set of single glazed windows installed one on the inside and one on the outside. They slid up to open. This installation was LONG before double glazed windows were common in the south west.

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on May 17, 2006, 4:09 am

For some strange reason, cutting down everything on the property is a rather common trait in home building. Then you have to buy back your own topsoil...
It's a good idea to consider "filling in" gaps etc., as part of good management practises.
If you can find a source of seedling trees (eg: a reforestation nursery), particularly conifers, you can plant a lot for cheap, and they usually require _no_ maintenance.
Back in '93, we bought 250 white pines for about \$50 and planted them ourselves. Now some of them are >30', we've had <5% failure, and we haven't done a _thing_ to maintain them.
Back in 2000 we did it again with about 600 trees (white pine, red pine, red oak and some shrubs) - about \$170 worth of trees and another \$150 worth of teenage labor ;-)
[An experienced seedling planter can do well over 100 trees an hour - in fact, a _good_ one up to about 400/hour depending on site conditions.]
Deciduous trees need a bit of assistance, and as a result of not giving them very much, they didn't do that well (70% failure rate is not considered unusual). But the pines are doing extremely well (<10% loss).
[The nursery used to be an arm of the provincial government, which was subsequently "sold" to the employees, and now they run it. They'll even send someone out to help you plan out what/how much to buy.]
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on May 17, 2006, 3:03 pm

On the other hand, walnut or beech trees will feed you in your dotage, and help put your grandchildren through college, so plant a mix. And *NOBODY* plants boxwood for lumber anymore. :-(

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on May 19, 2006, 12:03 am

especially black walnut.

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on May 17, 2006, 3:48 am
<<a jungle or a hayfield>>
Just let it grow for 5 years. Then rent a self-propelled walk-behind high-powered brush mower (at least 30" cut with 17HP or better motor) and clear out all the weeds and bramble and smaller trees. Make a few wide paths that can be maintained with a riding mower.
I did this on 5 acres of my property and it looks great. Some of the trees are 18' tall after only 5 years. What a view from the bay window. In the middle I made a small clearing for a secluded picnic area surrounded by Honeysuckle and Serviceberry and Russian Olive.

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on May 16, 2006, 4:07 pm
On Mon, 15 May 2006 20:44:20 -0500, Richard J Kinch

That's insane. A HEDGE is the price of privacy. The lawn should be big enough to serve as a fire-break and any yard-based games/work you've got to do, and beyond that should be gardens, orchards, meadow, ponds, tree-farm, or something. Large expanses of lawn are a symptom of an ego problem, a paucity of imagination, or someone who needs a clear field of fire.

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on May 16, 2006, 6:45 pm
Goedjn writes:

If you can't afford the space, a fence/wall/hedge/etc is the next best thing. But proximity is incompatible with privacy. Especially in the age of machines and electronic amplification.