Rain Delays

I remember sitting in a little league dugout in Tallahassee wondering when the rain would quit so we could play ball. Fast forward 45 years and I’m still waiting on the weather. With Subtropical Storm Alberto coming ashore in North Florida (pounding my little league field), Western North Carolina is getting soaked, again. It has been a wet spring, and we are shifting our mowing schedule, again.

We have received a few phone calls about why we don’t cut in the rain. “My neighbor’s lawn is being cut,” one caller points out. “You were here last Thursday, but why not this Thursday?” another caller asks. “I lost my terrier in the front yard,” a client says with a mix of humor and annoyance. There are several reasons we don’t cut in the rain, or when the ground is saturated.

Safety

Our riding mowers weigh about 1,000 pounds. A mower of this size sliding down a wet hill creates a dangerous situation for our crew members, and the potential loss of equipment.

Operating hand tools like line trimmers and blowers is also risky in wet conditions. A slip-and-fall while operating these tools is an accident we want to avoid.

Turf Health

Walking, pushing a mower, or operating a riding mower can cause several types of damage to turf.

Compaction. If you take a wet washcloth, ball it up, and let it dry on the edge of the sink, you get a picture of what happens when a mow crew works on wet turf. With soil compaction, oxygen necessary for root health is pushed out of the soil, and the weight of people and their equipment causes physical damage to roots.

Weeds. One of the primary reasons fescue turfgrass gives way to weeds like crabgrass is soil compaction. As you have seen, crabgrass (and similar weeds) grows anywhere. The worse the soil, the better it grows.  When a crew operates in the rain, the weight of mowers will tear out turf when making turns. The muddy tracks in turf are unappealing visually, and this damage opens up opportunities for weeds. There is more sunlight for weedseed germination, and the compacted soil causes decline of the favorable turfgrass.

Site Maintenance

It is just about impossible to clean up properly when cutting in the rain. In particular, rainwater mixed with chlorophyl from cuttings will make green stains on house siding or paving. We want your property to look better when we finish our work, not worse.

We are committed to taking good care of your landscape. While we try to cut your lawn on a predictable schedule, weather delays (small or large) can shift the schedule for all our clients. We know grass can get tall during these weather delays. We work as carefully and quickly as possible to help you regain a tidy landscape. We are happy to take your calls (828-338-9921) or email messages (info@35-n.com) with your questions about the weather, or other questions you have about landscape maintenance or projects you may be considering.

We appreciate your business.

Charlie Landreth
President
35° North Landscape Services

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Charlie Landreth

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