Monday, March 24, 2014

Common Sense Gardening: Lawn Mower Tips

Spring is here, the grass is growing, the sun sets later, and it’s time to get some exercise in your own backyard!  Yard work is a great way to get exercise and so rewarding to see the beauty that came out of your hard work.  Maintaining your lawn may be a big part of your yard work, and if so it may be time for you to purchase a new lawn mower. There are many factors to consider when deciding which mower to buy. We’d like to help you with a list of types of lawn mowers and some lawn mower tips. 

Types of Mowers

Mulching mowers are designed to finely chop clippings and blow them down into the turf. This gives nitrogen back to the soil. Keep in mind that any mower can return grass clippings to the soil by removing the bag. This helps fertilize the soil and keep it healthy.

Reel/push mowers work great on small, flat yards.  Preserve the peace and quiet in your neighborhood, and feel good breathing in fresh air. Reel mowers have a hard time with long, wet grass and large weeds.  Keep blades sharp to prevent brown, ripped ends.

Corded electric mowers are another good option for smaller yards.  They work great, and they keep the peace and fresh air but the cord can be a challenge to maneuver around.

Cordless electric mowers can be great for smaller yards or areas that don’t need to be done all at once since they will need to re-charge after an hour or two.  They don’t have a cord to deal with and preserve the peace, quiet and clean air.

Walk behind gas powered mowers are what most of us have experience with.  They can be challenging when turning around trees and shrubs and can be somewhat heavy to push.  Gas powered engines contribute to the noise and air pollution that are familiar to many of us living in neighborhoods.

Walk behind, self-propelled mowers are easier to push since they are self propelled.  Most can be set to accommodate different walking paces and abilities. They work well around trees and corners and you don’t have to work as hard going up slopes.  As with any gas engine, there are air quality and noise concerns.

Riding mowers are fine for yards without too much slope when push mowers aren’t practical because of lawn size or mower ambition.

Lawn tractors are deluxe riders for larger land areas.  They can handle slopes and turn well. 

Lawn Mower Tips 

These tips can help keep your lawn healthy so there is no need for toxic weed and bug killers, which can make their way into our groundwater (which we drink!) and stormwater system.
  • Keep blades sharp with annual sharpening.  This gives a clean cut to your grass that looks good and prevents disease. 

  • Mow grass at two inches to encourage root growth. 
  • Try to mow when grass is dry and leave cuttings on the lawn to give nitrogen back to the soil. Any mower can do this when the bag is removed.
There are many ways to support a healthy lawn, yard, and garden without the use of toxic weed and bug killers.Visit our Common Sense Gardening webpage to learn more.

No comments:

Post a Comment