Rain causing grass mowing woes

Published on 25 January 2023

A contractor mowing grass using a machine.

Imagine going to work every day to mow lawns, reserves and grassy areas, to keep them smooth, green and weed free.

Then imagine a summer like this one. The ground is so soggy the mower sinks and long, warm wet days have pushed grass growth to record heights.

“We employ local people from Whangārei, who take great pride in their City and surroundings so this is very frustrating for them to see their efforts flawed by inclement weather,” said contractor Citycare’s Turf Manager Richard Redfearn.

About twelve staff look after 680 grassy spots across the District. They can usually mow all the plots ranging from 500 to 40,000 square metres over two to three weeks.

This year the work is taking two to three times longer.

“This is the longest, strongest non-stop growth I have ever seen,” said Mr Redfern.

“Grass growth usually slows down in December and January because it is drier. The job can even get faster, but not this season. Since November the grass has grown faster, longer and thicker than ever. The conditions have been perfect for the grass, but not for us.

“Constant rain has also made the ground very soft and boggy. “Ride-on mowers can sink, causing ruts that turn into mud patches that dry into uneven surfaces that need repairing. Push-mowers are lighter – but it takes a lot longer to mow big spaces with them.

“We cover as much ground as we can every day, knowing that wherever we are, grass is growing somewhere else. The District is lush and green and beautiful, but it is a bit like fighting a wall of green fire.

For us in the business of mowing grass, it's a bit frustrating, but we come to work every day to do what we can."

Tagged as: