Mike’s Musings Number 10
More about the three T’s
Those few of you who have glanced at my musings (well thank you Ann) will know my thoughts on tool and tactics. Yes, that’s right. I’ve done my bit on slashers and how tools are used in combination for different tasks. Brambles , for example with perhaps bracken poking through demands different treatment from 1.5 metre standing crops of nettles. It’s all about Techniques, Tools and Tactics.
Take the other day at Cleeve Court by way of one example. I was wading through a complete patch of nettles with a bit of cow parsley in between. Very little undergrowth and virtually no low level grass, excellent slasher material in fact the exact tool for the job here.
But to move on, Bishopswood and we are asked to cut a spread of grass some bushy tussocks some of the tall eared variety. Slashers might do some of it especially if you bend right down to make your cut three centimetres above ground level but not really, the slasher does not have the lightness of touch for this. So we have to use short handled shears.
Now my tactic is, as you know, to create islands of material by clearing around the edge. This is especially useful when faced with a field of ragwort as at Gillott’s in Henley. So here at Bishopswood I push the shears into the grass then cut a smooth line turning the grass over to one uniform side. This leaves the next layer of grass on its side allowing another cut along the same line. As the process continues, the cut grass is piled up uniformly and the area cleared is quite obvious. I like this method, you can see what you have achieved which is motivating and you can make raking up for collection much more effective.
Psychological aspects are very important here when fatigue breaks up concentration and standards may falter. It is so important to have a clear distinction between what we have achieved and what is still to be achieved. I have seen grass cut in a random tussocky way evidence of cutting at different levels with an irregular finish, yes it is better than what was there before but not distinctly better.
Well hammer to crack a nut, nit picking…..? Come and have a look or better still try it out!