Method to minimize yard work

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BookLoverL
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Re: Method to minamize yard work

Post by BookLoverL » Sun May 05, 2019 4:19 am

I also like the idea of a scythe - I researched it a while back and it sounded like it would be efficient once you got the hang of the technique, much quieter, give small wild animals more chance to escape, and it would be easier to mow tricky corners. Also, scythes do not require fuel, and you only need to cut either a couple of times a year or right before it gets to the height that your neighbourhood allows you to grow it to (I still can't believe you have actual rules about that in the US...). I haven't actually tried a scythe myself yet, because I couldn't get my family to go for it, so they're still using the gas-powered push lawnmower, combined with a powered strimmer for the steep parts.

In terms of plants, I've also read somewhere (possibly a permaculture site) about replacing the grass with other options that don't grow as tall and/or are more suitable for the local climate, such as chamomile, or, if you're in a desert area, xeriscaping.

Jean
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Re: Method to minamize yard work

Post by Jean » Mon May 06, 2019 4:38 pm

I suggested a Scythe because it's what we use for the chalet.Once a year, grass are 1 meter tall, the badminton field (4x8meters) is done in about 5 minutes.

Sclass
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Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Method to minamize yard work

Post by Sclass » Mon May 06, 2019 5:24 pm

Whoa. Got me curious.

https://youtu.be/gsfIHiBB6xE


https://youtu.be/1I4RNenmfFI

:o very frightening and exciting at the same time!

https://youtu.be/PQVWj_vWJPw

daylen
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Re: Method to minamize yard work

Post by daylen » Mon May 06, 2019 5:27 pm

The Scythe is badass, though sharpening may take some extra time.

Tyler9000
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Location: Austin, TX

Re: Method to minamize yard work

Post by Tyler9000 » Mon May 06, 2019 6:25 pm

I used to joke that most of my landscaping work was done to support my own maintenance laziness. It's funny 'cause it's true.

A lot of my best tips have already been covered, but here's my short list:

1) Make flower bed areas around all trees to make it easier to mow. Bonus points for using flexible borders with generous bend radii that the mower can take with no hard corners.
2) Use landscaping cloth in those bed areas to keep out weeds. Cover in year 1 with good mulch.
3) Don't bag leaves in the fall. Instead, mow them into a bag and distribute in the flower beds. Free mulch!
4) Set up an automated watering system. You don't need an expensive in-ground system. Instead, plan out hoses and sprinklers that install above ground and cover the entire yard while staying out of the way. It's cheap and very easy to do and you can even get timers if you like automation.
5) Buy plants appropriate for the area. Focus on perennials that can survive the winter, with preference to hearty plants that don't require much water.

sky
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Re: Method to minamize yard work

Post by sky » Mon May 06, 2019 7:47 pm

A cheap way to irrigate is to stake down irrigation tubing through your garden and then poke holes in it with a sharpened bicycle spoke. Do it with the water turned on and you will quickly learn where to poke the holes and how to twist the spoke when you pull it out to adjust the spray of water. Add a timer to your system and you can easily keep your plants watered even in the hottest months, with no effort by you.

Sclass
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Re: Method to minamize yard work

Post by Sclass » Sun May 26, 2019 9:14 am

Cleared more brush in the yard. I used the Honda Strimmer again. We have a garden wall going around two sides of the property. Hedges had grown up against the wall and it was difficult to get between the hedge and the wall to trim the back edge without a ladder. There was a similar problem along one side of the house.

This really slowed down hedge trimming. So I removed many of the bushes. A good number were dead and covered with ivy, morning glory and wisteria. They needed to be removed. Other ones just needed a walkway hollowed out between the wall and the hedge to facilitate fast trimming. Our previous gardener just used a long hedge trimmer and got the front faces of the hedges because he was concerned with relieving me of my money as quickly as possible while keeping the place lovely at 30’.

So I outfitted my trimmer with this blade. The bends allow it to cut in a stabbing motion and in a up and down sweeping motion. You kind of chew into the bush like pac man. The twigs (I cut up to 1” dia) can be vertical or horizontal and it still plows through. In this sense it works better than a circular brush blade. It is tougher than nylon cord. Uses its angular momentum to build up energy. Flywheel effect. It takes a few seconds to spin up but once it gets going it really slashed through thick vegetation. Massive blade kind of like a motorized machete.

Oh yeah and I forgot to mention, it mulches up the cuttings so you can leave them on the ground. Any big cuttings can be mulched in place by just plunging the tool down on the debris. It just disappears.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/295505-0-Unive ... B00L46JVYK

Oddly not readily available over amazon USA. I got a copy from China eBay. $10 shipped.

This thing really makes short work of unwanted brush. Now it will be easier to move quickly around my property with other high powered tools. I had to resist the temptation of turning the entire place into an open meadow to facilitate efficient yard care.

I learned from this guy. He seemed very enthusiastic about his tool. After turning a five hour brush clearing job into 45 minutes I completely agree with the guy. This setup is great for brush and vines. Without this video I’d have no idea how effective this two blade cutter coupled with a trimmer could be.

https://youtu.be/PylNCZr06dY

https://youtu.be/sL-3wNUdPlE

jacob
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Re: Method to minamize yard work

Post by jacob » Sun May 26, 2019 9:27 am

Oi! That fits on a weed whacker? Looks quite murderous. I've fantasized about replacing the nylon wire with a more permanent baling wire solution, but this goes much further. The amazon link even has a rotating chain implement that looks like it came out of BattleBots or the Braindead movie.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Zerodis-Trimme ... 07DKC63XQ/

Sclass
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Re: Method to minimize yard work

Post by Sclass » Sun May 26, 2019 9:35 am

Yes, it looks dangerous.

Kriegsspiel
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Re: Method to minimize yard work

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sun May 26, 2019 11:47 am

When my string ran out, I started using the attachment that came with my Ryobi electric trimmer:

https://images.homedepot-static.com/pro ... 4_1000.jpg

It works well, but I'm not trimming heavy brush.

Sclass
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Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:15 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Method to minimize yard work

Post by Sclass » Sun May 26, 2019 8:35 pm

Yeah, that kind of nylon blade attachment has the advantage of not leaving cord fragments all over. After years of landscaping service my yard is scattered with little hunks of that plastic line. Now I know why they come in bright fluorescent colors and earth tones. Depends if you want to collect them or not.

I tried using thin aircraft cable on my old electric trimmer to save money and reloading. But, it fell apart and I realized it could be throwing needles around at high velocities. So I’m back to mostly using 0.095” cord which seems to last a lot longer than the standard 0.065” stuff.

Ahh saving money. I suspect fuel economy will go down with the big blade. Given its extra injury risk I only plan to use it for infrequent brush clearing jobs. I can just picture myself putting it into my foot or slipping on my feet and getting it back in my face when I fall. As I say it looks dangerous though I haven’t had any problems. I’m not going to push my luck to save string even though it works well for routine trimming.

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