It’s the day after Labor Day. It might not be the official end of summer, but that’s what many people think. While it’s been a great summer for golf, boating, biking and all those fun hot weather activities, it’s also been a great summer for growing grass. Lots and lots of grass.
While mowing twice a week all summer can be a minor nuisance at home, mowing Calvary’s 40 acres presents a challenge.
“Typically we hit a point in July when it dries out and the grass goes dormant for several weeks. But this year, every single week since the first mowing the whole cemetery has been mowed some areas twice in the same week,” said Terry Miller, Calvary’s Caretaker.
The above average rainfall not only encouraged the grass to grow, it caused explosive growth for weeds like clover and turkey foot.
“Even through we have Green Care spray for weeds, the weeds are winning the battle. I think we will have to go to more treatments next year. That means more cost, but it will be needed,” said Terry.
The cemetery crew uses two John Deere rider mowers with 62-inch decks. These are traded in every year because of the heavy use they get. On average each machine will tally 200 hours and a couple of sets of blades. There are also two Honda 21-inch walk behind mowers.
“On a typical Monday when we mow the older sections a guy using a walk behind mower will walk 12 to 16 miles,” Terry reported.
On top of all that mowing, there have been two to three funerals a week and property sales have hit a record pace. With the summer crew now off and back to school, Terry looks forward to a calmer pace.
“Needless to say, I am ready for Fall so I can do something besides mow!” he said. “But come Spring I will look forward to it again.”