Archive for Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Fix-It Chick: Quiet lawn care

June 11, 2014


The silent whirr of a reel mower coupled with its fume free simplicity is often a good alternative to gas-powered lawn care.

Step 1: Reel mowers don’t use gas or motor oil. They are easier to store than gas mowers and can be used in the early morning hours while neighbors are sleeping. Reel mowers cut grass blades smoothly like a pair of scissors. Rotary gas mowers are loud, burn fossil fuels, require biannual maintenance and rip the tops off the grass blades, leaving the lawn more susceptible to insects and diseases. Choose a reel mower for a healthier lawn and a healthier environment.

Choose a reel mower for a healthier lawn and a healthier environment.

Choose a reel mower for a healthier lawn and a healthier environment.

Step 2: Depending on grass height and terrain, reel mowers can require more energy to push than a gas-powered mower; they cannot be used on tall, overgrown grasses, and they have difficulty delivering a manicured finish, especially with turf type grasses. Stick with a gas-powered mower for lawns with steep inclines, uneven terrain or zoysia or Bermuda grass.

Step 3: Not all reel mowers are created equal. A wider cutting path reduces the time it takes to cut most lawns. Additional cutting blades create a smoother overall cut. A longer handle will make it easier to push the mower. Added features like a rear blade guard or a grass catcher are sometimes worth the extra money, but for most jobs, the basic mower is all that is needed.

Step 4: Switching to a reel mower requires diligence. Lawns need to be mowed on a regular basis, as reel mowers do not do well with taller grasses. Keeping the blades clean and sharp will go a long way in reducing the amount of elbow grease needed to mow most lawns.

Step 5: Consider replacing your electric or gas-powered string trimmer with an old fashioned, but relevant, manual weed cutter. Swung from side to side like a golf club, these double-edged garden tools are great for knocking down rogue weeds or trimming along garden edges. Their durability and ease of use make manual weed cutters a perfect partner for reel mowers, supplying an Earth-friendly, cost-effective and productive summertime workout regimen.

Step 6: Like any garden tool, reel mowers and manual weed cutters should be kept clean and dry. Store them inside when not in use and have them professionally sharpened every five years or so.


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