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Grass cutters keeping busy

Rob Burns’ business, Golden Acres Mowing, has recovered from a dry spring now that the grass is growing thick and fast in this tropical weather.
Rob Burns’ business, Golden Acres Mowing, has recovered from a dry spring now that the grass is growing thick and fast in this tropical weather. Renee Pilcher

LAWN-mowing businesses thrive in this type of weather.

If there is one thing that can be counted on, it's that these hot and humid temperatures following good rainfall will get the grass growing out of control.

And that means plenty of work for Gympie mowing businesses, which have been "going flat-out" since the sun poked out from behind the clouds.

Households that mow their own lawns have been having trouble keeping up.

As soon as you get the humidity with the moisture and the rain, the grass seems to grow the instant you turn your back.

And while other councils have been factoring in extra workers to cope with added grass growth during the wet season, Gympie Regional Council has reduced its mowing budget by 60% to reallocate the money towards repairing recent flood damage.

Much of the council's mowing work has been contracted to local mowing businesses, which is understood to be more economically viable.

Rob Burns from Golden Acres Mowing is literally up to his armpits with grass.

Besides taking the contract to mow Nelson Reserve every Thursday, he is responsible for lawn maintenance at the Nestle factory and other ongoing work.

"We are flat-out at the moment. Keeping up with the regular work is one thing in this weather but I'm spending half a day answering calls from phone-ins," he said.

"A lot of people with acreages can't keep up with the mowing. Either their mower can't cut it or it's just too big a job for them."

Rob said last year's dry spring made it difficult to stay in business, when traditionally it was supposed to be one of the best times of year for mowing businesses.

This summer's humidity has the grass growing thick and fast and the demand is such that Rob can pick and choose the jobs he takes.

"The worst jobs are the monthly ones. Cutting long grass is too hard on the machines so I am refusing work if they don't want me to do it regularly. It's also too hard on my workers."

The best height for nearly 80% of all grasses is two to three inches.

Lawn maintenance experts say it is best to mow grass high and often.

During really active growth a lawn may require mowing up to two times a week for a beautiful, green, weed-free lawn.

 

Top grass tips

  • Don't cut your grass too short. If you mow too low you can damage the crown and stop the grass growing in that area allowing weeds to get a footing.
  • Keep the mower blades sharp. Dull blades tear at the grass and damaged grass is less disease resistant. Mower mechanics recommend getting the blades sharpened two to three times per year.
  • Mow early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid as much of the heat as possible.
  • If you are mowing fairly long grass it is best to catch the cuttings.
  • Ideally, you should mow weekly or fortnightly.
  • Wait until after 7am, Monday to Saturday, and 9am on Sunday before completing this household chore.

 

Rob Burns

Topics:  business grass gympie gympie regional council rain

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