Energy & Sustainability
Thoughts on lawn mowing
MowTheLawn.jpg

So why is the grass nearly up to the window? Even if you just lived through the rains of 2009, your neighbors probably expect you to do your suburban duty of maintaining your piece of the neatly trimmed green ribbon of society. Since yours is likely a four-stroke gasoline engine, you might enjoy this visualization of the motor. Check out this troubleshooting guide to determine which end of the mower needs attention. If you can get that lawn beast going yourself, you can hopefully keep it out of the shop.

According to Greenscapes, by keeping your blade sharp and your lawn a bit on the high side, the ground will retain moisture, helping it to be more drought-tolerant.

If you’re looking for some real lawn fun, maybe you can figure out how to make your own lawn crop circles, or try this lazy lawn mowing technique. Of course, using a robot to mow the lawn could be more fun than vacuuming the floor.

Where do you look for good troubleshooting help on repairing your mower?

12 thoughts on “Thoughts on lawn mowing

  1. I don’t get why anyone burns gas to mow the lawn. I used to mow a half-acre with a push mower, and all it needs is a little lube once in a while. A good push mower will shred your clippings and drop them evenly back into the lawn where it acts as fertilizer. No bagging, no composting, no gas, no motor oil, no pull-cord.

    1. I second an old fashioned reel mower. I bought one five years ago for $120. The only money I have put into it since is a couple of dollars for a tube of valve grinding compound for sharpening the blades. The tube has lasted for five years. It will probably last five more. The mower will probably last another twenty.

      Reel mowing is not like gas or electric mowing. You want to cut the grass a little taller, and don’t let it get too tall between cuttings. Keep sticks out of the yard. Double back and re-cut half of the last pass from the other direction. Accept a little imperfection.

      I love my reel mower. Mowing is fun and relaxing. It is quiet and clean. Give it a try.

      1. That middle paragraph is the best reel mower summary I’ve seen.

        I’m another reel user, and it’s a beautiful thing. No fuel, no cord, no prep, no crazy unregulated pollution, nearly no noise, nearly no maintenance, takes up less space in the garage, and it gives me some much-needed exercise. I can mow at 9:30PM or 5:30AM and not worry about the neighbors complaining.

        I’ve got a smallish lawn that takes about an hour to mow. It won’t cut stuff above 6-8″ in height, but it works well on everything else.

        If you’ve got a huge yard, you might have to invite a few friends over and have a reel party unless you’re an athletic type.

  2. I really don’t understand the attraction of grass in the first place. At best, it looks like green indoor-outdoor carpeting.

    I’ve seen yards that were completely landscaped with other plants, with paved walkways but no grass. They looked great. I’m sure they required some maintenance, but probably no more time than you’d spend mowing once a week (plus maintenance on the mower).

    (I’ve also seen parts of yards where grass wouldn’t grow because there wasn’t enough sunlight, that had been taken over by other plants that don’t require mowing. Grass is never the only option.)

  3. our whole yard is mulch. we have too much shade to grow grass and i like it that way. too much fuel is spent mowing down grass. i found a reel mower on freecycle for the small little patch of grass we do have in the front ditch but i only cut that when it gets really out of hand.

    our mulched yard looks just find and we can landscape it as much or as little as we like. all that uncatalyszed exhaust from lawn mowers is completely un-needed. i will never have a grass yard again.

  4. Definitely enjoyed the “visualisation of the motor” and had a good laugh at “lazy lawn mowing.” :-) About the length of turf grass to leave when mowing… it really does depend on the grass’ ability to retain water. So yeah, don’t cut too short! But certain grass types can be cut shorter than others. Found a good link that discusses that a bit – http://tinyurl.com/ovg2em7
    (And no, I don’t know the owner of that blog. I just came across it…)

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Making things is the best way to learn about our world.

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