April 13, 2015

I Hate Mowing the Yard

My husband has almost always been the lawn mow-er, but when we lived in Michigan we had a riding mower and I'd mow it most of the time. When we moved to Oak Hill we quickly realized that we had about one square inch of level ground - we are really on a HILL - and I won't use a riding lawnmower here. I'm afraid I'll tip over!

Why I hate mowing the lawn.

I found that riding mower relaxing, but hubby finds mowing very stressful. Two years ago I told him that if he'd get me a self-propelled lawnmower I'd take over the front yard. He uses a string mower, and those are just too hard for me to use. So eventually I had "my own" lawnmower, and the front yard is my responsibility.

But I'm putting off mowing the front yard now that spring is here. It needs it. But the dandelions are yellow polka dots in the green yard and the shepherds purse is blooming. The henbit has turned our lawn into a purple carpet. Hubby has hinted that it needs to be done, but the henbit is so pretty when you plop a puppy or a baby goat in the middle of it and take pictures.

Pyrenees puppy in purple henbit
One of the Pyrenees puppies we had a few years ago.

You see, we really don't have much grass and I'd hesitate to call our yard a "lawn". There are plenty of useful plants though.

Narrow leaved plantain

The plantain is growing in swirly clumps. You can identify plantain by the veins that run parallel from stem to tip. The veins are especially visible if you turn the leaf upside down.

The leaf veins of plantain run parallel to each other.
The veins on plantain run parallel, from stem to tip.

There are also clumps of curly dock. If you have trouble telling curly dock from plantain, turn the leaves over and check the veins.

Curly dock leaf veins
Yellow or curly dock has wavy leaves.

Curly dock leaves have wavy edges as the leaves get larger. Sometimes the clumps look kind of reddish or purplish in the early spring.

Curly dock in early spring
Yellow or curly dock

We have a patch of wild onions in the yard too. I hate mowing those down. Egg and wild onion dinners are a spring tradition in Oklahoma. One of these days I might transplant those onions to a spot outside of our yard so I can let them multiply into larger patches.

Dandelion greens and the leaves of shepherds purse are good additions to spring salads.

A patch of chickweed in the lawn

The chickweed is growing heavily right now too. I always pick plenty so I can infuse olive oil and make salve. Chickweed and plantain salve is our go-to remedy for insect bites, stings, and other skin problems such as rashes.

Maybe I can mow around the plantain?

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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  1. I'm always inspired by wild edible plants.... a great excuse for not mowing. I totally know how you feel. I live in Alaska and love to study wild edibles too.

  2. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead3:55 PM

    Jeannie, you feel my pain! :-) I would especially feel that way with Alaska's short growing season.

  3. I've been putting off mowing, too!! Mostly because once I mow it I have no more free food for the rabbits, haha. I've been going around on hands and knees pulling up the best bits for them. Chickweed, plantain, and dandelions are all great favorites...the only one they seem to be picky about is henbit. Which is a shame, because I have the most of that, LOL.

    Of course, I live in town, so I imagine there will be complaints if I leave it much longer. >_<

  4. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead8:26 PM

    Rose, it's nice to know I'm not alone in this. I'm sure your rabbits are enjoying their goodies, but be sure to do it before the neighbors complain. ;-)

  5. I feel your pain! Every year I'm out there transplanting things out of the "yard" because my heart just aches to cut them down or pull them out to die.
    Love the puppy picture!

  6. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead9:20 AM

    Farmers Wife, that's it exactly! Thank you for telling me it's possible to transplant "weeds".

  7. I loved seeing some of your "weeds" as the pictures helped me to identify some of the "weeds" in my yard. :) Other years, I have transplanted plantain to my garden...and purslane, because they DO get mowed over in our yard - the guys do it and wouldn't want to wait for harvesting. :)

  8. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead2:06 PM

    Joy, I'm glad it helped you identify some of the weeds. Yes, my hubby wouldn't have waited for me to harvest either. ;-)

  9. Your "lawn" is a treasure trove of goodies in disguise! I used to mow our acre on a riding mower and found it so Zen. I'm so glad you joined us at The Maple Hill Hop this week! Enjoy your treasures.

  10. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead7:30 AM

    Thank you, Daisy!

  11. This was a neat post. I actually love mowing the lawn with our push mower because it is so nice to hang out the clothes on a smooth grass surface (and it is therapy for me) BUT I have been known to go around our plantain :) It hurts to cut those medicinal beauties until I have time to harvest them. Thank you for sharing your lovely wild herbs with us on the Art of Home-Making Mondays!

  12. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead6:04 PM

    Thank you, Jes. Hanging laundry over a green carpet is sublime!

  13. What a cute puppy! Our yard in spring has pretty little white flowers and african violets, but then the onion grass pops up over everything and I'm ready for my guys to mow it. :) Best wishes!

    1. I understand that, Jendi. I feel that way when the dandelion stalks take over. Thank you for stopping by.

  14. Great post, thank you for sharing it with us at Good Morning Mondays. My husband or son mow our lawn with a rider mower. We have quite a large area of cooch grass and it is just beautiful and soft and springy. Blessings

    1. Hi Terri. I'm not familiar with coach grass. I wonder if we just call it by another name. It sounds lovely.

  15. I have a big patch of curly dock in my grass too. Does it have other uses besides in a salad? Thanks for stopping by Front Porch Friday.

  16. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead9:10 AM

    I've not done it, but you can dry the young leaves and grind them into flour. It's also used as a dye and does have medicinal uses. Look at https://wildlettucegal.wordpress.com/tag/medicinal-uses-of-curly-dock/ (scroll way down).

  17. Ohhhh, I agree...Mow around the plantain! I usually get some that springs up in my garden so I have plenty. I've never used the chickweed for anything other then feeding to chicks! I might try it for salves. Thanks!

    Thanks for linking up with Green Thumb Thursday! We'd love for you to join us again this week!

  18. I had never thought of trying some of the edible plants that are literally in my backyard. I am actually taking a Wild Edibles class next week where we are going to go mushroom hunting and learn about edibles in our area. Thanks for linking up to the Country Fair Blog Party!

  19. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead1:05 PM

    Val, I'm jealous that you have a class nearby! I hope it's a good one and you learn lots!

  20. I hope so too. It is a "continuing education" course offered through our local community college. They do a great job of offering classes on a wide-variety of topics for the community.

  21. Stopping in from the Country Fair Blog Hop...Mowing isn't a fun job around here either. Good information about the different plants you have and their uses. I haven't ever tried edible wild plants before, but it sounds interesting.

  22. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead3:00 PM

    Identifying that first wild edible weed will open your eyes, Shelly. Thank you for visiting.

  23. Kathi, I gave your post one of my Blue Ribbons during last month's Country Fair Blog Party! I hope you link up some new posts in June: http://www.cornbeanspigskids.com/2015/06/country-fair-blog-party-summer-lovin.html.

  24. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead11:55 AM

    Thank you, Val! Yes, I'm headed over there next...

  25. Great ideas for all those greens - My sheep love the clover so I let it grow let them come in and feast a little at that sweet treat. When we had cows they loved the clover. Mowing though I find it relaxing and a great form of exercise. I don't try to do it all in one day though - feels like less of a chore that way.

    Carole @ Garden Up Green

    1. Hi Carole! Eventually the "lawn" gets too tall and straggly and I have to cut it for the first time, and after that I find mowing relaxing and a good form of exercise, just as you said. Sheep, goats, cows... they all love clover, don't they? My goats would ignore the clover though and go for the herb garden and fruit trees, so I don't let them in the yard.

  26. Oh man, you have a goldmine in your front yard. I wouldn't want to mow either. LOL

    Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop.

    1. Thank you for understanding, Bonnie!


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