Some homeowners hire a lawn care service to groom their suburban castle grounds. Others prefer a DIY approach.
At the core of the landscaping arsenal is the lawn mower.
With landscaping, mowing, and other duties in the world of yard work, youve basically got two
choices; you can do it yourself or find a local lawn care contractor through word of mouth or through
a service company feedback database service like Angies List, who makes it easy to find the best. Join today..
Look at the equipment the local lawn care service uses. Usually, the same quality of landscaping
equipment is available to the suburban do-it-yourselfer with deep pockets.
The primary difference is that with an average size lot, usually none but the laziest homeowner can
defend purchasing a riding lawn mower or tractor.
Step 1: Decide What Type of Lawn Mower is Right
What should you as an urban grounds-keeper be looking for in a mower? Consider these factors:
The size of your lot. This determines whether to buy a riding model, with
selected attachments or the more traditional walk-behind size.
Cost. Your budget is very likely going to dictate your final decision
after all other factors have been evaluated.
Environmental risk factors. How green do you need to be? Some models
emit a large volume of undesirable greenhouse gas emissions, while some are minimal. The
Washington Post noted that one riding lawn mower emits as much pollution in an hour as
34 cars. Wow. Wheres Al Gore?
Types of Lawn Mowers
Self-propelled walk-behind. As the name implies, this type employs a drive
train enabling the mower to pull itself forward, saving the landscaper the job of pushing. They're
a good choice for large, open lawns or hilly areas.
On smaller areas with frequent direction changes
they can be a bit annoying. And remember they have more moving parts to break down.
Gas powered mowers. Also named rotary mowers since they spin one large blade
to cut the lawn. This blade is either a standard kind that ejects the cut grass through a side
chute or into a bag.
A better choice is a mulching blade, which cuts up the grass fine enough so
that it sifts into and feeds the lawn.
Reel mowers.reel lawn mowers
go back to to the days of Leave it to Beaver. It uses a spiral array of blades that turn
rapidly around a central reel. The blades are sharp enough to scissor-cut the lawn.
This type take a little more effort, but theyre gaining in popularity with the green
environment movement and theres no
outlay of cash for gas and oil.
Riding lawn mowers and lawn tractors. These are excellent for larger-sized
lawns and are heavily used by commercial landscaping companies. Dont forget the drink holder.
Lawn Care Equipment Maintenance
All lawn care equipment including mowers, tillers, edgers, and weed-eaters need a comprehensive
routine maintenance program. At a minimum it should be done at the beginning of each spring growing
Whats on the list? Blade sharpening, oil change, air filter replacement, a new spark plug,
and rust removal at a minimum. A complete visual inspection as well as an oil level check
(where applicable) should be a habit before each use.
Leading Mower Manufacturers
Selecting an brand name and model is one of those situations where it makes good sense to stay with the
leading brand names. There will always be a chance of finding a lemon, but at least the lawn mower
replacement parts will be easy to find. Let's look at a few top brands.
Motorized Push Models. You can't go wrong with John Deere, Murray,
Snapper, Toro, and Honda.
Riding Mowers. This is more of a niche market because there arent as
many sold as other types. The manufacturers listed above make the best ones.
Reel Mowers. This is the choice for going green. The number of these
sold is increasing daily. Because of this, many more players are producing them. But
experience and a track record matters, so stick with the manufacturers that have been in
this niche for the long run.
sits on top of the heap. Its precision German engineering really stands out. The Brill Razorcut
38 push mower now seems to be their flagship model. Its lightweight and it can go eight years
between blade sharpening.
Scotts makes several high-quality models. Their Classic is great for
taller lawns. Sunlawn is another reputable company. They produce a very satisfactory entry-level