By Ben Copeland Jr., Guest Blogger and Super-Sod COO
Achieve Year-Round Lawn Perfection in Only 5 Hours per Year
I love grass. It’s what I do for a living. But when I go home at the end of a day of managing an operation that grows over 12,000 acres of it, the last thing I want to do is manage more grass. You know the old saying about the cobbler’s kids not having any shoes.
Because I am a farmer at my very core, my pride will not let me hire someone else to do it. And there really isn’t anything like the pride that comes with having the best lawn on the street unless you have done it all yourself.
So, I decided to do a little experiment to see if I could have the best-looking lawn with the least amount of time possible. With me being me, I decided to make it harder on myself and demand green year-round, so I overseeded my warm season grass to give me year-round green. I had never done that in a home lawn before because I didn’t want to mow all year, but I wasn’t going to have to mow myself (more on that in a minute).
Thank goodness there is some amazing technology that has come along to help! I’ll explain how I used this tech to achieve year-round lawn perfection in only 5 hours per year.
Robotic Lawn Mower
A robotic mower is the biggest time saver out there.
Before I spent an average of 40 minutes on my ride-on mower each time I cut my lawn, and I cut the lawn about 38 times each year. This year I spent a total of 45 minutes operating my robotic mower – from changing blades to various problem solving.
This unit alone gave me back 24 hours of life to live each year! Plus, it does a much better job than I was doing with my ride-on mower because it keeps the lawn consistently cut each day rather than mowing once per week.
Reclaim your weekends with a robotic mower!
My robotic lawn mower also solved a pesky mole problem that had been a royal pain in the you-know-what. There’s no official research on this, but I’ve seen that moles are not fans of the robot mower constantly patrolling the lawn.
Plus, I could have year-round green with an overseeded lawn without having to spend time mowing during the winter months.
The overseeded rye didn’t get tall enough to shade out my TifTuf Bermudagrass because of the robot's constant attention to my lawn, and even unfavorable winter weather didn’t slow it down. Because my robot mows in the rain, the near-record year of rainfall for Georgia didn’t stop me from maintaining an ideal grass height in all seasons.
Edgeless® Turf Growth Regulator
Edgeless is a turf growth regulator from SePro (we carry Edgeless in our stores). It inhibits the uptake of gibberellic acid, the plant hormone that controls shoot growth. It does what the name implies – keeps grass from growing new shoots over your drive and into your flower beds so you will “edge less.”
I love the crisp lines edging creates, but I hate actually edging. Spraying this product on my turf edges allowed me to go from edging six times a year down to only once, saving three hours of a job I hated every year.
These time-saving hacks helped me spend more time playing on the lawn with my family
– and less time on lawn maintenance!
Because I have been in the grass business for 25 years, I have had a bunch of different types of turf in my lawns. The easiest to care for of all is definitely what I have now – TifTuf Bermuda. Because of its super drought tolerance, I didn’t have to spend any time at all last year fixing broken sprinklers, adding extra irrigation cycles when it gets hot, or babying weak areas. It just performs.
As a Bermuda, TifTuf needs a lot of mowing. That’s where the combination of a robotic lawn mower and TifTuf has become a turf manager’s dream team.
TifTuf also tolerates overseeding much better than the old Tifway Bermuda because it transitions from dormancy in the spring much quicker and it has improved cold tolerance.
I do not recommend home lawn overseeding of anything but TifTuf.
Compliments from the Outside
During my little experiment I have receive tons of compliments:
- About 6 “Your lawn looks like a golf course!”
- 4 “What kind of grass is that?”
- 5 “Can I take my shoes off?”
- 3 “That’s the best lawn I have ever seen around here.”
- and last month 1 “That looks like the Masters.” (Thanks, overseeding.)
The best compliment by far was from my dad who has spent 50 years in the turf industry. He said, “I never thought I would see a home Bermuda lawn look that good.”
Guys, you know what it feels like to get that kind of compliment with only 5 hours of investment?? Although I did let my Dad think I had been slaving out there on it the whole time.
5 hours is hardly anything. My iPad told me yesterday that I spent 7 hours looking at it last WEEK! AAA says the average American spends 58.6 hours a year at red lights.
I love my lawn in that I love spending time on my lawn - not working on it. With a few tools you can have an incredible lawn in almost no time!
Time Spent on Annual Lawn Maintenance
Time Savings from Robotic Mower
Time spent on robotic lawn mower in full year = 45 mins
Before with traditional mower - 38 mowing times x 40 mins each time = 1520 mins = 25 hours!!!!
My robotic mower saved a whole day of my life!!!!
Time Savings from Edgeless
Time spent on spraying edges + 1 edging per year = one hour
Before Edgeless = 4 hours edging per year
Edgeless saved three hours of a job I hated!!!