Spend less time mowing, more time having fun

June 7, 2011

By Laura Geggel

Getting out on a nice day and giving your lawn a fresh cut can be a peaceful and rewarding experience. But when mowing your lawn begins to cut into your free time, it becomes less of a joy and more of a chore.

t A zero-turn lawn mower offers many advantages to easy lawn care. ARA Conten

The good news is there are ways to decrease the time you spend mowing. By purchasing the right mower for your yard and using certain landscaping techniques to make mowing faster and easier, you’ll spend less time mowing and more time enjoying your freshly cut lawn.

Choosing the right mower

If it takes you much more than an hour to mow your lawn, purchasing a riding lawn mower is probably the best way to cut down that time. However, not all riding lawn mowers are created equal when it comes to the speed of mowing.

Greg Munro, floor manager at the Issaquah Home Depot, said he asks customers several questions before they buy a lawn mower. He asks how big the yard is; whether the yard is hilly or bumpy; whether they prefer an electric, gas, self-propelled or push mower; and what price range is appropriate?

Many lawn mowers also have features, such as mulching or mowing grass and leaves, and how high or low it cuts grass. This season, customers are gravitating toward electric cordless lawn mowers, Munro said.

Though the Issaquah Home Depot does not sell zero-turn lawn mowers, the appliance is another popular seller. Zero-turn mowers are now becoming more widely available, affordable and more user-friendly, making them a sensible purchase for homeowners looking for a quick and precise mow.

Zero-turn mowers can get the job done because:

  • they have more responsive steering that uses levers as opposed to a steering wheel, allowing you to maneuver more easily around trees, flower beds and other obstacles.
  • zero-turn mowers can cut at nearly twice the speed of traditional lawn tractors, offering the ability to move at 5 mph to 8 mph, as opposed to 3 mph to 4 mph.
  • zero-turn mowers allow you the ability to spin around 180 degrees when you get to the end of your yard, eliminating the need to back up and cut strips of lawn you might miss using a tractor with a steering wheel.
  • by design, zero-turn mowers offer an unobstructed view of the cutting deck, making it easier to see when trimming edges — eliminating the need to touch up the areas you might have otherwise missed.

Mowing and landscape techniques

How you mow and the way you design your yard can also play a role in reducing the time you spend mowing.

Some ways you can save time are:

  • plant a garden, or landscape using woodchips or other materials around trees and near buildings and curbs. This will eliminate the need to mow many hard-to-trim areas.
  • leave clippings on the lawn rather than raking them up. As long as you mow regularly, leaving the clippings on your lawn will actually encourage healthier growth, providing your lawn with much-needed nutrients.
  • keep your mower blades sharp so that they cut cleanly. This will keep your grass healthier and will help you mow more effectively.

By choosing the right mower for your yard and employing a few tried-and-true, time-saving techniques, you’ll be well on your way to maintaining your lush green lawn without spending any extra time doing so.

Source: ARAcontent; Reporter Laura Geggel contributed to this report. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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