How to Choose the Best Lawn Mower for Your Needs – Part One

Treating your lawn well does more than give your home curbside appeal. A great looking lawn can also keep many pests, both plant and insect, from making a home in your grass. A yard that’s well tended is a barrier against erosion, too.

Some homeowners spend hours every week cutting the grass, edging around the lawn, caring for flowers and more. They consider their lawn an extension of their home and treat it like a masterpiece to be carefully displayed.

Others, however, view a lawn as just one more thing to take care of. They just want to get outside, get the job done and cross that off the to-do list.

Whichever way you feel about lawn work, there are a few tips and tools that can help you have a great looking lawn with the least amount of fuss. Even if you don’t mind the fuss, by using the best lawn mower for your needs, you’ll free up time to move on to other indoor or outdoor homeowner projects.

The right lawn mower isn’t necessary just to cut the grass. Without the right lawn mower, your grass can become unhealthy and unsightly. Since you have to spend time taking care of it anyway, you might as well treat your lawn to the best.

There is a relationship that takes place between a mower and a yard. Not every mower is suitable for every yard. You can choose from a self propelled mower, a reel mower, a riding lawn mower, an electric mower or, if you have plenty of money to spend on a mower, you can even get a robot mower that will mow the grass for you!

We provide a list of factors/considerations that will help make your choice easier:

1. Matching the Mower to Your Lawn

While there are as many different styles of lawns as there are mowers, not every mower on the market will be suited for your lawn. For example, if you have a small lawn, you certainly wouldn’t want to pay for a huge riding lawn mower because you wouldn’t have the room to maneuver something as large as a riding one.

If your lawn is fairly small to medium sized, then you’ll want to buy a lawn mower that you can push. These mowers are fairly inexpensive and easy to maintain. You don’t need as much horsepower in a mower that’s used for a small to medium sized lawns, either.

You’ll want to consider the size of the mower’s width. The wider the mower, the larger span you can have on the blades, which shortens the amount of time spent cutting the grass.

Before you pick out a mower, you should do a yard check. Take stock of the surface area of your lawn. Pay attention to whether your lawn is rough or has a fairly even grass surface.

Next, note if your lawn is mostly in the sun or if it’s shaded or if that’s a mixture. If the lawn area has a lot of shade, does the lawn that’s covered by shade consist of thicker grass?

Look at the landscaping of your lawn. Are there a lot of bushes you’re going to have to mow around? Do you have a lot of flowerbeds? And what do you have around those flower beds? What kinds of decorations are on your lawn? Do you have landscape lights along your walkways?

If you have a lot of things on your lawn that you’re going to have to move your lawn mower around, you’re going to want one that will get you close to the decorations as possible so that you don’t have to go back over as many spots with a weedeater.

Is your lawn flat or elevated in places? All of these things will factor in to the type of lawn mower that you should choose.

A lawn that’s fairly smooth and flat would be easy to take care of with a regular push mower. But a lawn that’s uneven or at a slant would be better mowed using a self propelled mower so that you’re not struggling to push the machine.

2. Your Mowing Habits Might Affect Your Purchase

Some people prefer to mow their grass on a regular schedule, such as once weekly – while others prefer a schedule of once every other week. Some people don’t schedule lawn maintenance at all – they just mow the grass whenever it starts looking too long.

If you mow your grass every week, you have to be careful not to mow it down too short. Not only can you cause soil erosion from mowing too short, but you can cause your grass to die and your lawn to get brown patches.

One sign that you’re not mowing your grass correctly is if you notice after you’re done mowing that there are lumps of grass clippings left in the mower’s wake. This means that your grass was left too long.

Another sign of improper mowing is a lot of weeds in the grass. Some people think weeds are a sign that a lawn isn’t being mowed often enough but it’s actually a sign that you’re cutting your grass too short.

The best rule for cutting grass is to never cut the grass shorter than two inches. It’s better to leave grass at three inches, but some people don’t like the grass at that height.

If your grass is fast growing and you don’t get around to mowing it as often as it needs it, that can make a difference in the type of mower that you should use – because not all mowers can handle grass that’s taller. It will bog the mower down, make it shut off often and put a lot of wear on the motor.

Another mowing habit to consider is whether or not you mow your grass when it’s completely dry. You should not mow your grass when it’s wet because it’s not good for your grass – you’ll get an uneven cut – but it’s also not good for your mower.

Wet grass causes mowers to shut off and it can clump to the underside as well as clog mowers, too. If you’re using a bag mower, wet grass is heavy and difficult to remove from the bag.

3. Sizing Up Your Mower’s Cutting Ability

To look at how differently mowers cut grass, all you have to do is take a drive through a random neighborhood. You’ll find grass that looks like a herd of goats set upon it because the grass looks choppy – high in some places and low in others.

You’ll see lawns that look like they have more clippings than grass. Then you’ll see other lawns that look like the grass was given an ugly flattop, while other lawns look in high need of a decent mower.

How your lawn looks depends on both you and your mower. You can take care of the length of the grass simply by adjusting the height of your mower to a set level. But if you notice a consistent performance that’s not what you want, it could be that you have the wrong mower for your grass.

For your grass to look even, you have to have a mower that can handle the terrain of your lawn. For example, if you have a sloped lawn, if you struggle to push a mower up the slope, this can result in uneven grass, which is why it’s always better to use self-propelled mowers for yards that are not flat.

To be continuedPart Two