The average American spends about 25 hours a year mowing their lawn. That’s about 25 mowings that take 1 hour each.
Of course, this is an average that includes Americans in southern Florida who mow their lawns year-round, and Americans in northern states who mow their lawns during a much shorter growing season.
In Levittown, one of America’s first suburbs, homeowners were required to sign contracts saying they would mow their lawns at least once a week between April 15 and November 15 – dates that line up with Levittown’s growing season. This meant that the homeowners had to mow their lawns at least 35 times a year.
Madison’s growing season is 83 days shorter than Levittown’s, lasting only from mid-May through late September. And, Madison has no requirement that homeowners have or mow a lawn. Yet, some in Madison choose to mow their lawns from mid-March through early December.
Mowing causes grass to grow faster. In other words, the more you mow your lawn, the more you have to mow your lawn.
Grass that is unmown, however, grows for a few weeks in the late spring, reaches a height of about two feet, and then dies back. If we tolerate tall grass for a couple of months in the summer, we can have short grass the rest of the year by mowing just once in the early fall.
Finally, we can plant slow-growing “eco-grasses” that remain short year-round with just two or three annual mowings – or we can seed our yards with dwarf mondo grass, a cultivar that resembles more common lawn grasses but never grows more than three inches tall.