Finding the Best Lawn Mower for the Job
For those who own their own home, yard care is a big responsibility to handle. In fact, the size of the yard is immaterial since any patch of grass on your property will require care. Either you do it yourself or hire help for the purpose. With the right lawn mower, DIY lawn care becomes much easier. In the subsequent sections, I will be talking more about each type of mower explaining tips and tricks on choosing them but here we shall discuss your lawn mower needs.
Assessing Your Particular Requirements
Most people aren’t aware of their lawn care needs before they hit the market in search of a mower. I advise my friends and confidants to learn more about their yard before making any kind of yard care decision. You need to find out what kind of grass grows on your lawn, frequency of mowing and the terrain that you have.
Go deep into the details of your garden by examining the grass density, looking at zoning laws of your neighborhood and noise restrictions if any. Grass density helps in choosing the right kind of mowing blade and understanding the rotations required for the job. Zoning laws and noise restrictions help in deciding the engine type.
Next you have to consider the size of your lawn.
Most people downsize for a large expansive lawn thinking that the extra money saved will help them in some other household expense. Unfortunately, push type mowers turn out to be too small for an acre or more of land. However, a ride-on mower lets you travel across vast expanse of land quick and efficiently mowing in a single pass. But, there are restrictions for such mowers too such as trees, flower beds and jungle gym.
The slope of terrain
The slope of terrain is another consideration you will have to make since gradient of the slope will determine whether you can maneuver push type mowers around or if a ride-on is absolutely necessary. In fact, choosing the exact kind of ride-on for sloping land is a difficult task since too much gradient can cause the mower to topple over. In my experience, having seen too many lawn disasters happen in front of me, I recommend that you keep a push-behind mower for the hilly regions of your land and a ride-on for the flatter grassy expanses (only if your total yard size exceeds 1 acre).
Here are the two main types of mowers and a small brief about each. More information on how to select a good mower in each category is given in their respective sections.
Walk-Behind Mowers – A compact engine sits pretty on top of the blade and mouth attachment operating the blades at a high speed and at times powering the rear wheels too. You stand behind such mowers and push them forward or walk along. They can be electric, battery operated, gasoline powered or manually operated. These mowers are best for small yards and for less dense grass with an average height of 6 inches or less.
Ride-On Mowers – I like to think of them as versatile small tractors. For a farm, these look more like tractors that can blow snow away, harvest crops in small batches and do more. In reality, they are designed with a large blade underneath the chassis drawing power from a large engine that sits either at the back or front of the tractor with a seat positioned on the top and driven on four wheels using power steering and simple controls. These are best for large lands, hilly regions and dense grass growth but they aren’t great around obstacles.
And one final consideration you must take into account is your duration of stay. If you are a person prone to move around, whether you purchase a new house or rent one, moving your yard equipment can be difficult.
For highly mobile folks, landscaping with rocks is a better alternative than grass. Landscaping is also better for business folks who travel a lot. In either case, it’s better to get the services of a professional lawn care company rather than investing into a lawn mower.