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Last year i tok on my local church graveyard.. It doesnt pay particulary well but its less than a minutes walk from my house.

The gravestones are all over the place and its literally 2 hrs of striming, an hour and a half on my small ride on and about 45 mins with my mower..

Its all the striming of small banks and round all the graves that seems to take ages.  Im also probably over fussy with doing it a good job.  

Any tips or thoughts on how to make it easier / quicker?

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  • PRO

    Use a wheeled strimmer around obstacles?

  • Bear in mind putting the time into a good job around graveyards is worthwhile as there are a vast number of people who visit them, I know in my case there’s not many jobs that I have which are subject to as much ‘traffic’ this means 2 thing- there are a lot more people to offend and in many cases, churches can be an easy place to offend. But more positively it is a shop window for your service and a great advert- so don’t be hard on yourself for doing a good job!

    financially in comparison to running around cutting small lawns in various locations for half a day, there’s often something to be said for it!

    i personally like to use a mower over a strimmer for banks but it all depends of the state of them and I know boys who like to make their strimming easier with 40 liters of round up every other month and to be honest I don’t think it looks all that bad once the soil is exposed and maintained like that!

  • PRO

    I was thinking of spending an hour or so with my sprayer going round the grave stones and dribbling some roundup round them.. as its the carefully strimming round all the gravestones that sucks up all time. Anyone done anything like this?

    • The roundup around the gravestones will save you a lot of time and once the vegetation is strimmed level with the ground can look very tidy. 

      • Can I also ask was the graveyard church owned or ex local authority? Privatisation in Edinburgh has been looming for sometime here. 

  • I do several Churchyards and Cemeteries [there is a difference]. The Churchyards can be a challenge at first. This is because in my experience, the previous contractor has always been very poor at their job, yet strangely they have sometimes been employed for several years. This usually means that the strimming has been neglected and as a result it takes longer to strim at first. After several cuts it will get much quicker as the grass is much less dense around the graves. You have to strim back aggressively at first, then it becomes much easier.

     The right kind of ride on is key to speed. I have a 4 wheel drive ‘out front deck’ Stiga. I can't imagine how difficult it would be with a Garden Tractor type machine. It's all about manoeuvrability. I can do one Churchyard with my Zero turn as it is less fiddly than the others. Using the Zero turn in this particular churchyard has knocked just over an hour off the mowing. It’s all about horses for courses.

     I now pay someone else to do the strimming for me in the Churchyards. My friend and colleague is much faster than I am with a strimmer [although I am quick, he is really quick]. He also uses much less fuel and line than I would as a result. I can then get on with other work. Is there anything worse than very long sessions with a strimmer? We’ve all done it.

     Pricing is critical of course. Any normal, smallish country churchyard needs to be £200 to £250 per cut.As already stated above, spraying is a good move, if it is allowed.

    There is a Council Cemetery about 15 miles away from me that is about ten acres in size and badly laid out. It makes me shudder to think about it.

    It will get easier as it goes along.

  • This is the stage I hope Babell Graveyard in Swansea will be at in a couple of years!

    The graveyard has been neglected for years and is covered in Japanese knotweed and bramble.

    The knotweed has had 1 years treatment in the summer and autumn of 2018 and volunteers are helping with the clearance of winter stems and A LOT of thick brambles!.

    I need to start thinking about the longer term management now which is complicated as there are lots of meadow ant hills. We want to keep them as the site is to be a haven for people and wildlife.

    I am going to speak to a Celtic Wildflowers ( who are experts in biodiversity and habitat management, about adding some native plants that are semi parasitic to reduce the need for mowing. Things like yellow rattle and foxglove – but I need to know what is suitable and appropriate for the site.

    Caring for God’s Acre ( is a charity who “work nationally to support groups and individuals to investigate, care for, and enjoy burial grounds. Our vision is to keep burial grounds beautiful, accessible and connected to communities.”. They are great and bring out new material about managing graveyards as the Beautiful Burial Grounds ( 4 year HLF project develops.

    Celtic Wildflowers
    Celtic Wildflowers’ mission is to support the conservation of native flora. We are suppliers of locally sourced native wildflowers for large and smal…
  • I do one and it takes 5 hours. Graves are mostly all different angles and uneven so it takes ages.

  • A lot of large municipal cemetries go down the weedkiller route. Different opinions will say its fine or it looks bad. A ragged strip of yellow grass next to bare soil along the line of headstones. Depends what u can get away with regards the church owners

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