Maine homes are more often than not surrounded by big lawns
If you have company from across the pond, this fact is one of the first observations someone from say London or Paris noticed. Back where they hail from, something that big for a wrapper of land surrounding a home is tilled up and farmed. Something besides blades of grass kept crew cut short is what the generous helpings of land are used for… it is tilled or something with four legs grazes on the grass, clover, whatever else good looks good to eat if you are a farm animal.
What is the reason for such large lawns? Maybe it is because not so long ago, everyone lived on small family farms in Maine. We all farmed and mowing large lawns now gives us a feeling of haying once a week spring, summer, fall. Now that many of us chase the dollar working for someone else 9-5.
The rolling lawn in front, to the sides and out back of a New England farm house is pretty when it is kept free of burdocks, red brackle and small poplars that take hold quickly. Even fiddle heads show up around houses and the more moist areas around a property in Maine. If you don’t keep the land mowed weekly or at least bush hogged once a year or the land hayed.
Some of my best thinking is done riding the John Deere or Cub Cadet International garden tractor with the large mowing deck.
You can see what you did when you tuck the mower away in the barn or garage and there is a sense of accomplishment, of property pride. You notice birds in the trees, you check of the home and the countryside as you gawk around mowing. Because it is not a hard, mind bending exercise.
Fresh mowed lawns. It is relaxing to mow, to see the rows in the sequence and all of us in Maine were taught by expert lawnmowers. It was not racing around in circles but trimmed around the trees with a hand mower or weed wacker combined with the power mower exercise. It was done right or time to do it over.
Big lawns, how large should you mow? Some folks check the watch, mow for an hour, give or take depending on how big a time pledge they want to put to keeping the grass trimmed. And when they get to that pre-determined time, that’s it. Shut off the mower, pull up the deck and be line back to the storage area until next week. Or earlier if sunshine, plenty of rain means you need to repeat the lawn mowing more than once some weeks.
Lawn mowing is contagious. You like to get the property mowed before the weekend, prior to long holiday spans. It is something your parents instilled in you as a young grass chopper in Maine.
Mowing by hand is great exercise.
Up and down hill slopes. Back and forth, alternating the angles to make it new and different for the travel pattern. Instead of a treadmill at the gym, just pull the cord of a hand pushed, not self propelled model and see the wright drip off slow by sure. Working around the weather makes mowing hard when three days of rain elevated the blades longer than you would like. The clubs of dead grass clippings clog a mower, make it work Cherry, harder and look like yard hair balls.
Mainers love to mow lawns.
I have had properties for sale where sellers are out late at night applying weed and feed and in one big private competition to make sure their landscape is picture perfect. They act like it just happens on its own but deep down inside are pretty competitive with neighbors around the hood where they hang their hat.
You can use gang reel mowers behind a tractor or four wheeler to mowing large level to rolling stretches of green grass. If not grass, apple orchards are planted, wild flowers are encouraged with meadow in a can seeds broadcasts. Planting something for flowers or vegetables is always a personal choice for what grows around a home in Maine. Ornamental and fruit trees help showcase a property. We are brought up in Maine that is 91% forestested to plant trees, not cut and harvest them only. Being a good steward of Maine trees means thin them out, don’t clear cut or leave nothing to grow when the over story is removed. Hardwood ridges, so many trees to study and enjoy hiking in Maine.
Cherry, apple trees, raspberry bushes. Landscaping your lot in Maine is a delicate but rewarding process to plan out what goes and grows here or there. The attraction of birds, the sound of wind in the pine or fir needles vibrating with a low hum. Trees know the meaning of patience, time. Maples grow fast but can decay later on. I have a bunch of maples along a circular driveway that are ailing.
Cedar hedges look scrawny when you pull them out of the swamp and place the roots in burlap bags for transport and to be kept moist. But other than trimming, they are way way better than erecting large expensive fences that heave with the frost and need paint or stain or other maintenance. White birch trees are pretty and frail. Yellow birches are better for fire wood believe it or not. Beech, ash, not so many oak trees though all round out the choices you or Mother Nature will supply on open Maine land. Don’t forget the patch of rhubarb, high bush blueberries, elderberries, black berries, and herb garden to add to your flower beds, vegetable gardens on our patch of Maine dirt to enjoy.
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MOOERS REALTY 69 North ST Houlton ME 04730 USA