Ten years ago we sold our house and moved into an apartment. The apartment didn’t have a yard so while downsizing the house I sold all my yard maintenance equipment. That was a fun day. I told myself when I was young that I’d “one day make enough money to not have to mow lawns!” Had I finally arrived?
Fast forward to today and I bought a mower (and associated lawn maintenance equipment). What happened? Did the dream die?
Living the dream
I don’t enjoy keeping a lawn alive in Texas. Weeds, soil, hot summers, cold winters are all working against you. I enjoy gardening to grow fruits and vegetables because the payoff is something tasty. I don’t get the same enjoyment from a lawn.
The next six years we either lived in an apartment, a home with no yard. Four years after that we lived in a house and paid a lawn company to maintain the grass. This was an enjoyable situation, then things changed.
The ten years with no mower started with having three kids under 6 years old. They were super cute when trying to rake leaves, but a complete failures as efficient landscapers!
Today those kids are older and are teens who are capable, willing, and want to earn money.
There have been many times when it’s Saturday morning and we are having people over in the evening. It’s not possible to book the lawn company to do a service with so little notice, or it would increase the cost.
Having the ability to do small touch-ups whenever it’s needed is very nice.
Cost of upkeep
The cost of keeping a lawn thick and green in Texas includes more than just the cost of the lawn company visits. We are committed to having an organic lawn and not use any chemicals on the lawn. This meant we had to use organic fertilizer, thatch after the winter, and spread new seed.
All of these maintenance steps added to the cost:
- An automatic sprinkler system to keep the area watered – A whole other cost, but vital in summer months!
- Organic fertilizer – We used chicken poop and seaweed fertilizer we bought from a local garden center.
- Thatching – Although we could have hired someone to do this we did this ourselves.
- Aerating – I rented an aerator machine, but this could be done manually.
- Grass seed – After thatching and aerating we added grass seed to get new grass. This might not be needed every year.
- Consistent mowing by lawn service
Completing all of these steps resulted in a very good looking yard, but when I added up the monetary and time cost I concluded I just didn’t want to spend my treasure that way.
We still have a suburban yard that needs upkeep to comply with HOA rules and our personal standards. Me and the kids do the upkeep, but we’re only interested in doing the bare minimum upkeep. And you know what? That’s okay.
Which mower did I buy?
In case you were wondering which mower I bought it is a Kobalt Gen4 40-volt Cordless Push Lawn Mower (not an affiliate link). My family bought me Kobalt tools as gifts in the past and I like keeping everything the same color blue. I chose electric because I hate messing with gasoline.