Why Aren't We Mowing?

AutaugaCrimsonCloverApril 11, 2011

If you have been driving anywhere around our fair city, you can not have missed the spectacular clover show. The beautiful red heads are “Autauga Crimson Clover” developed here in our area.

Their popularity can be seen all over the country because of its hardiness and good reseeding capability. Because of the rains that we have had over the past few months, optimal conditions were created to maximize flower production. However, in order to ensure continued premium blooming in the years to come, we have to do our part. We have to allow the clover to complete its reproductive cycle by letting the clover “go to seed.” After the beautiful bloom heads are done, they must have time to develop and drop the seed. Our clover is not perennial, which means that it does not automatically come back year after year. It is dependent upon annual reseeding. If sufficient seeds are not produced in spring, then the following year less clover is produced. If this continues for several years then our clover show will diminish exponentially. What generally happens is that the other grasses also start to grow about the same time. Since we like to have our area look nice, many people call to ask when we are going to start mowing. There are always several weeks when the highways and medians look out of control. We are asking for patience and understanding that we are not mowing in order to allow the seeds to mature.

Since 2002, we have extended the time that we start our mowing. This year, we have really seen the benefits of our strategy. We try to follow the same timetable used by the Alabama Department of Transportation when they are establishing start dates for mowing the interstates. This date is usually in the early part of May, but the rains this year may cause the start date to be later.

Please support us in our effort to create the beautiful spring gateways into our City. Hopefully, if someone near you complains about how overgrown our highways are, you can tell them why and maybe they will in turn pass it on.