Thursday Night Mowing League: Week 2 (Power Rankings Are Out)

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As expected, the numbers of participants dipped from Opening Night

Between flooding across The Plains, snow still on the ground across the Dakotas, a terrible start to spring across Minnesota and Wisconsin, soaking rain across the south and storms hammering Texas, I knew it was going to be a rough league night for tens of thousands of league members who wanted to get their yards right heading into the weekend.

The results: Now you’re left scrambling to get back on schedule. You might get a Friday mow in after work, but that ruins your plans of going out to get a burger and beers — maybe throwing down a few bones on Keno — and just relaxing.

Or even worse, the ground is too wet to mow tonight and you’re left mowing on Saturday. As the commissioner, I don’t even want to hear your rainout, “I had to mow on Saturday” reports. Don’t send them because I’m hitting delete.

Here in northern Ohio, the weather guys had been saying it all week: You better mow Thursday or you’ll be mowing Saturday. Today is an absolute rainout across much of Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, etc. It’s brutal.

As I sit here typing, my northeast facing office window is being hammered with rain and wind right off of Lake Erie, which this time of year is real bad news.

But, the good news is that I went out to grab some lunch and I could gaze out across my freshly mowed turf and smile. It’s done for the week. I’d say we’re sitting at a healthy 3.5″ base layer.

It’s so green like the TNML shirts.

Yes, there are spots in the yard that need attention. Yes, the damn dog insists on running around the pool like she’s a greyhound and creating her own racetrack. Yes, that will need some dirt and fencing so she calms her ass down on those hairpin curves.

Doesn’t she just create a new racetrack around the snow fence you put up?

It’s like psychological warfare with this Doodle. I can put up a 4′ piece of fence that changes her course and it plays mind games with her. She actually slows down around the new hairpin curves. Or I’ll run a full 12′ string of fence across an entire area and she won’t go through it. She’s afraid of the fence falling on her so it acts as the Great Wall of China in the yard.

Great dog, just loves to haul ass and doesn’t have a brake of any sort. / Kinsey Collection

Jobs still to accomplish this spring with limited time over the next four weeks until Memorial Day:

  1. Planting hundreds of annuals
  2. Put down a stepping stone path…no more talk, it’s time to buy a pallet of rocks
  3. Mulch all the beds
  4. Open the pool
  5. Plant a new weeping cherry
  6. Edge the beds
  7. Powerwash the patio
  8. Clean the gutters
  9. Patch parts of the yard ripped up by the dog’s racetrack tendencies

I’m about to puke looking at that list, but it’s time to go to battle. And the kids better be ready to help.

League news & notes:

  • TNML power rankings after Week 2 — Top 5 in no particular order
    • Colton Lippert
    • Tim G. in NW Ohio
    • Dave Holmgreen
    • Mike Freshwater
    • T.J. Bollmer
  • Game on. Who wants a spot in the power rankings and a shot at TNML National Mower of the Year?

Buy! Buy! Buy!

Thursday Night reports from across the United States:

• Brad J. in Roswell, GA writes:

After having the back resided, the equipment made the front yard a mess. So I had it top dressed to repair the damage. Northerners may not be familiar with this concept since this is more common with southern turf like Bermuda. But it is effective to make it level and feed nutrients to the lawn. I’m excited to lay the stripes with my Tru-Cut reel mower in a few weeks after everything has settled in and the grass grows thru the compost, sand and soil mixture.

The equipment used was brand new and the guy doing it designed the truck himself. I hope he succeeds in his venture because it’s hard-working guys like this that make our country great!

• Jason R. in Far Nor Cal writes:

Track conditions were a bit warm today. Might have hit 100 already. 90 degrees by finish. Top sponsors this week cold beer X3, bottled water, Red Hot Chili Peppers #RHCP

• Indy Daryl writes:

Week number two was a smashing success and like any high level athlete I’d like to take this opportunity to shamelessly promote a product I truly believe in: Altra running shoes. Whether running (road or trail), hiking, mowing, or just wearing around town these shoes can’t be beat. The extra wide toe box is incredibly comfortable, especially on hot days where your feet start to swell. Typical shoes would star to press in and make everything tight. Altra shoes don’t let that happen. And to top it all off, the cushion, even on this well worn pair (went to Olympic NP last year), lasts and makes wearing them a dream.

As for the yard itself…. well it’s cut and most of it is green….

Hope you had a great mowing session and I can’t wait to read the report tomorrow!

• Doctor Chris writes:

My buddy in South Carolina said I should send this in. First cut of the year. It was in the 20s last week and a long winter. Looking forward to the lawn greening up!

• Brandon B. in Madison, CT writes:

My trusty mower was sitting on pit road with the tarp on trying to figure out the rain today.  Put a bungee cord on her to open up the side discharge cover to help alleviate clumping.  45 degree rotation from last week with the cross-cutting to disseminate the clippings.

I would like to thank my mowing sponsors on this wet Thursday:  @HusqvarnaUSA, @newbalance, and @ChampionUSA.  I would also like to thank my post mow sponsors for the light at the end of the tunnel:  @yuenglingbeer, @BrooklynBrewery and @dominos.

Now time for a post-mow scoot @HondaPowersprts #Metropolitan

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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