For some reason mowing your lawn with a scythe is spectacularly
efficient only when the grass is wet (talking about cutting the
grass down to essentially ground level, a regular short mowing).
The cutting is done with a razor-sharp edge that advances mostly
along its length but somewhat across the grass as well, so it's a
slicing like slicing bread.
Two things make it not work very well. 1, the grass simply bends
out of the way and so is not cut. 2, the grass cuts partly but
sticks on the edge, forming a clump of grass, which stops the
slicing action and the blade goes unstable (if it's a long one),
generally burying its point very quickly.
When the grass is wet, what happens instead?
One possibility is that wet grass has more momentum and so doesn't
bend out of the way when it encounters the blade.
Another is that wet grass is softer or somehow more sliceable.
A third, which I suspect is true, is that the grass is slippery
when wet, and doesn't clump on the edge, so the whole length of the
edge works on all the blades without their being torn out by the root
Various blade styles work differently but all seem to work best
when it's wet. http://www.scythesupply.com
I'm using the 36" grass blade, mostly. It's unuseable when the
grass is dry owing to going unstable, but it turns you into a regular
John Henry cutting out 7' swaths of lawn in the wet, shovelling huge
heaps of grass clippings into a pile at one side with each stroke.
Shorter grass blades don't go unstable in the dry, so are useable,
but don't cut very quickly.
This is all talking about regular lawn grass, not standing wheat
or anything. Tall grass is another hobby.
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