Thursday Night Mowing League: This Is Why We Do It

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TNML Commissioner’s Report:

Let’s get rolling with the report I’ve been waiting to make for the last eight months or whenever fall kicked in last year. We’ve made it to the big payoff weekends of the summer.

League members, THIS is why we do it. I want you to crack open a Mom Water or whatever you’re drinking on the patio right now and take a look around at all the work you’ve put in. All the labor. All the arguments with your spouses. All the late nights when your friends joked with you how this whole Thursday Night Mowing League thing is a waste of time.

Now who’s laughing. Your work this week is done and the weekend is wide open. And the yards look incredible. There are four Saturdays until July 4th. This is the time of year you have to cherish what you’ve created. Really let it soak in. Kick up the feet. Smile. Listen to those birds.

You’ve earned every bit of it.

As for what I’ve been up to, last Friday I spent the evening in the yard digging edges around the beds opposite of the patio that had been neglected and were due for a major renovation. You can see the wave edge I dug. The tree trunk you see is the next thing to go. That’s a weeping cherry. The replacement will go where the planter is located. I can’t wait for those lazy July days with the weepy cherry branches providing shade during father-son soft toss over the pool. Kids in the full sun. Dad right there on that rounded corner enjoying life.

Latest work from the commish’s yard.

• I heard from neighbors this week who are wondering about TNML tank tops for the wives. I loved the idea and my next step is to contact T-Shirt Manager Olivia to see what we can do on that front.

• It was great to hear from Dana B. in Indiana this week. You might remember Dana as the school bus driver who wears the league colors when she drives the bus. This week she’d like everyone to know that Stihl 2-cycle oil is a “must-use for best performance.”

Great advice from Dana.

• Dana also had some fun at the expense of Matt B. who dumped his zero turn into his pond:

To Matt B. I call a major penalty for shooting mega clippings into the pond! I’ve mowed around a huge pond for years and always shoot the clippings away from the water.

I’m sure others do what Matt does, and MAYBE it doesn’t hurt anything in the long run, but it seems like a penalty to me. We have even used our @STIHLUSA trimmer, when necessary, and if you do it correctly, you can make sure most of the clippings land away from the water.And speaking of Stihl trimmers, the Spark Arrestor Screen gets carboned/gummed up most times because people use a cheaper 2-cycle oil and/or run their mix too rich.To avoid this issue, use ONLY Stihl 2-cycle oil (more expensive but well worth it), and you can put an extra half-tenth, or tenth of a gallon of gas in your mix to run it slightly leaner.

But, the biggest issue is cheap oil. It chokes your machine. We use our trimmer many hours per week and haven’t cleaned the Arrestor in years. You get what you pay for in this case. #TNMLPRIDE (Hoping Matt B. accepts this in the light-hearted spirit it is intended)

And that’s it for this week. The content was once again incredible. If you’re still reading and haven’t received a sticker, I found a stash I’d lost in a pile of mail. There are more TNML stickers.


New products….BUY! BUY! BUY!

TNML Reports:

• Adam S. writes:

First-time submittal after being a long-time reader and until recently didn’t have a yard to mow on any day. After spending my first 23 years in Nebraska, then having a house with a subpar yard in Denver and leaving that sinking ship for circling of the drain communist New York City of all places, we fled there like a cartoon character leaving a hole in a wall, riding out our plandemic lease in Connecticut, where we could at least have patio beers…and whiskey.

So after being red in all places blue, we settled in Wisconsin, where my wife grew up…luckily in a great and very red area of the state, which is most of the state outside of Milwaukee and Madison…the Berkeley of the Midwest.

Thanks to the market being ridiculous, we were just finally able to go full Green Acres and go from Manhattan to 2+ acres in the country, with great, old school folks that are of the Screencap mold. I love everything about hearing stories from every day guys doing their everyday things after being surrounded by the opposite for so many years. Most of my potential Screencap expertise centers around dogs (late to the dog topic, but Jackson is included with the lawn pics) whiskey, general shenanigans and travel (too much of which is work related).

I look forward to your article, if that’s what we call it, every morning while I’m getting coffee’d up for the daily sales grind. Appreciate you and the community!

Go Big Red and FJB!!

You guys know I like when the rookies show up, especially when they show up all fired up like Adam S. and sitting on kick-ass properties with trees and toys. Throw in a dog and you have all the elements needed to go on a solid TNML content run. I can taste the Busch Lights around that fire pit.

• Ryan S. in NW Ohio writes:

Ahhh, feels good to be back. Unfortunately I’ve had to sit the past few Thursdays out for one reason or another. But, it wasn’t for a lack of trying. I did manage to fertilize when I had the chance and with the past few storms, it’s really starting to kick in. If I could only apply some black and white paint as I mow, a referee would get lost.

Now, my retired neighbor, whose been religiously mowing in Thursday. He says he doesn’t want to be a member of this illustrious league, by I disagree. Can I get him a sticker, of course with no writing on it, can’t make him an official member.

Whiskey night tonight!!

• Tim G. in the 419 gives us a shot of his chickens!

Finally stopped raining in the 419 to get a (mostly) full yard mow in. A 5” cut on about 3.5 of my 5 acres. Had some of the field still too wet after another half an inch of rain fell on Wednesday. The chickens don’t like it much when I mow their run while they are awake – I usually wait until they put themselves back into their coop at dusk to mow. It was a beautiful 75 degree Thursday evening. The perfect mowing weather!

• Candler B. in Duluth, GA always has something fun and interesting going on. This week is no different:

Joe- We had a big development this week, and our back yard is now the new neighborhood wiffle ball field, which makes us the new neighborhood wiffle ball grounds crew. Our front yard/driveway has always been the neighborhood football field and basketball court, but now we’re a true multipurpose facility. Let me explain.

We’ve always been a slow pitch, any wiffle-type bat goes neighborhood. We play in our neighbor’s front yard and usually go Dads vs. Lads. While we’ll still do plenty of that this summer, this week we branched out into playing true wiffle ball games with the official yellow, skinny banana bat, fast pitches, curves, sliders, and any other other pitches you can think of/actually throw. That’s where our backyard comes in. This type of play calls for a much smaller field and also much smaller egos. There will be strikeouts and far fewer home runs, but it’s a great time. The mow we got in this afternoon has set us up for an incredible weekend of wiffle. 

In just one week, we’ve worn a dead patch in the grass from the pitchers mound (See the pic below and don’t worry, I’ll overseed in the fall.), and one of the neighbor kids has already broken two segments of our tiny fence. I don’t care though, because this is what back yards are for. I don’t know what people in other countries will be doing this weekend, but here in the old U.S. of A., we’ll be enjoying our freshly cut lawns, taking it easy with some relaxing patio time, and playing wiffle until we drop. America, baby!

• Ken S. in North Augusta, SC writes:

Checking in from the early mow today from South Carolina. (Presenting a concert tonight, so I can’t wait until it cools off.)

Appears that we are past our rainy spring weather, now it’s in the 90’s every day until September, watering frequently. Pop-up thunderstorms fairly often, but generally pretty dry, otherwise.

Got the job done today with the classic Troy-built mower, and the Craftsman hoe to maintain the edging. Unfortunately, have to wait until later for the cold beer I feel like I’ve earned!

On a side note, I have two sons-in-law, both of whom are turned on to the TNML. Gotta get the next generation laying stripes!

Looking forward to the League report – always interested to see what’s happening around the country.

Thanks for keeping this rolling!

• Mike T. in Eagle, Idaho shows off those stepping stones and the jalapenos!

Greetings from beautiful Eagle Idaho,

Our crazy spring weather continues here in the Mountain West! Sunday afternoon Cindy T and I were enjoying the Patio Life and suddenly both our phones blowup! “Severe Weather Warning “thunderstorm with 30 mile winds and quarter-size hail!

I know that doesn’t sound like much to lots of team members, but here in the high desert of Idaho we don’t see many storms of that size. Ten minutes later Boom, huge winds 20 minutes of rolling thunderstorms and pouring rain mixed with hail. Lasted about 20 minutes and almost an inch of rain/hail. Again, might seem small to lots of folks, but it’s a lot here in the desert!

My jalapeños don’t enjoy hail!

The good news is all that rain and cooler temperatures have led to a great grass growing season. The Donald loves the thick 3 1/2 in. cut!

Stay well brother!

• Indy Daryl has things dialed in:

Couldn’t have asked for more perfect conditions. Low 80s with a light breeze and sufficient cloud cover to make tonight mow like a dream. The garden is coming in and what ever Mrs Do Hard Things planted is starting to sprout like gang busters. Hope everyone else had a great league night!

• Dave in Rhode Island writes:

Quick update from RI – the 20+YO #husqvarna manual push mower lost her skirt a couple weeks back…ordered another and we are back in business.  Couldn’t believe they had it in stock – why I love giving my business to the local outdoor equipment shop – #patspower FTW!

Major rains overnight into this morning gave us a much-needed watering and really soaked in that latest fertilizer application from a couple days ago.  Loving the 2x per week mow with the 4″ cut height.  Nice bonus is I’m not needing to bag.  Prepping for the first big deck/yard party of the year –  wife’s 50th celebration – I’m one lucky guy!

Lay those nasty stripes boys and girls…Cheers! 

• Sean C. in Granger, IN writes:

Tonight was a diagonal pattern.  Because my home is on an inside curve, It makes the edges look a little odd, but I make it work.  I really enjoy this time of year when I can be out mowing at 9pm on a Thursday night and the sun is still fully in the sky.  It left a nice long shadow for my arborvitae trees.  I wanted to touch base on two topics over the last few weeks……

1.  I’m an AFTER mow edger.  I’ve done it both ways in the past, but I feel that mowing first allows for less grass clippings to blow out of the way, and I get a deeper, cleaner edge.  Just my thoughts.  It works for me, but I certainly get the other side.  

2.  I meant to comment on some of your posts from the NRA Show you went to in Chicago a few weeks ago.  As a guy who attends trades shows revolved around material handling, seeing how much fun that show looked made me jealous.  There were so many cool things you posted about the show, but the robot delivery dog may have been my favorite.  The added wagging butt detail was hilarious.  And I have to find that frozen Jack and Coke Icee Machine somewhere.  With that show being that close to me, I might have to find a way to attend in the future.      

Good luck with your coaching debut and have fun at Cedar Point.  I haven’t been in a few years, so I’m hoping to see what’s new since I’ve been there.  Last time I was there, they were repurposing the Mean Streak.

• Mark W. in Tennessee writes:

Got the stripes down Thursday afternoon thanks to the Toro zero turn and the edge work was sharp courtesy of the Echo weedeater. If you look closely in the background, you can see my two pride flags flying. Old Glory, of course. Final clean up from the Stihl blower and I’m good for another week.

Proud to be a member of the TNML and sport the sticker on the back of my mower.

Keep up the great work. 

Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.

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