Lawn Mowers and Grass Mowing Tips
Now we come to one of the most important points of all – the choice of a lawn mower. The size you choose will depend on the size of the lawn. For very small, of course, a hand-propelled side-wheel or cylinder mower is all that is required, but for larger areas a powered mower (electric or petrol-engined) is almost a necessity. For lawns of moderate size a mower with a cutting cylinder 12 or 14 inches in width will be sufficient.
The number of blades on the cutting cylinder is also important: the more blades the more expensive the machine and the finer the grass that can be cut and maintained in good condition.
Push Lawn Mowers
Having decided on the size of mower, then the type should be considered. Anything over 12 inches is usually powered; below these sizes the mower will be a push type of mower. If a push mower is decided upon, it is a question of whether to have a side-wheel or a roller model; with side-wheels, cutting right up to the edges is not possible, but such mowers are cheaper and, without a front roller, are better able to cut and control creepingsince they will not have been flattened even more before the cutting blades get to them. With the roller models a better appearance is given to the lawn, and the edges can be mown at the same time.
Powered Lawn Mowers
Of the powered lawn mowers, the battery-electric models are certainly the ones with the most appeal. They are simple to use, relatively noiseless, trouble free and easy to maintain. You must, of course, obtain a machine with sufficient capacity (in terms of mowing time between charges) to cut all the grass at one go and your local dealer will give you all the details you need in this respect. The petrol-engined mowers, too, are, of course, extremely reliable nowadays but for women at least they are not such an attractive proposition – and there is certainly more to go wrong than with the battery mowers.
Mains powered electric lawnmowers suffer the disadvantage of the trailing cable, which is always liable to get in the way. Also, its radius of action is necessarily circumscribed. Such machines can also be run off a generator which gives them more freedom of action, but they still lack the convenience of other types.
For obtaining the best possible finish the choice would be a cylinder-type lawn mower every time, but for adaptability the popular rotary-type mower, with its ability to cut both short and long grass, wins hands down. With this type of machine the cutting blades, which revolve at very high speed, are set in the horizontal plane. They also cut the grass up very finely and although many are now provided with grass catchers they are not really needed provided the grass is cut frequently. These machines also are less expensive than their cylinder-model equivalents; they are good at cutting ‘bents’ and some weeds which are not touched by cylinder mowers.
Hover mowers are extremely easy to handle for they will change direction at the slightest touch, and they are particularly useful for cutting steep slopes, banks and other difficult areas which are ‘out of bounds’ to more conventional machines.
Routine LawnMower Maintenance
Whatever type of lawnmower you own however, it is essential to maintain it in good working order. A clean down and attention to any needed lubrication should be standard ‘drill’ each time the machine has been used. On cylinder machines, the blades should be kept really sharp and the cutting cylinder correctly positioned in relation to the bed-plate. If these two points are disregarded the grass is more likely to be torn off than cut cleanly, as it should be. The front roller should be adjusted so that it is perfectly horizontal, otherwise the grass will be cut more closely on one side than the other.
At the end of the season either overhaul your machine yourself, or get this done by a servicing company. Regrinding of the blades is a skilled job and this must be done by a trained man. The keen gardener gets this done in winter before the spring rush begins, for, those who delay too long may find that their lawn mower is not available for the first few weeks of the new season, which is certainly not particularly helpful.