Push mowers

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  #1  
Old 07-19-03, 01:25 PM
Chessie01
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Question Push mowers

Can anybody recommend a good, durable, but not too heavy push mower? I've been using an old mower that belonged to a friend, but it has come apart a couple of times now. I guess I'm hard on mowers - also my lawn has lots of slopes and corners so I have to throw it around a bit.

My other question is: I've heard that we should cut our grass relatively high, like 5 inches or so. Is there such a thing as an adjustable-height push mower?

Thanks...
 
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Old 07-19-03, 01:57 PM
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Hello Chessie01 and Welcome to DoItYourself.com

I'll assume that by 'push mower' you mean the reel type mower (with cutting blades arranged on a cylinder and cutting against a bedknife) as opposed to the gas powered or electric rotary one. In my opinion, reel type mowers give a much better cut than rotaries because they actually cut the grass instead of tearing it (rotaries will cut if they have sharp blades and are at maximum throttle, but the blades never seem to stay sharp that long...) They are also quieter and friendlier on the environment if you're into those things. But they ARE more work - I look on my home lawn cutting as a time to think about the events of the day or as exercise and therapy instead of being a chore - helps make it go by a bit easier...

I've seen them at Home Depot and other box type stores here in Ontario, Canada. Also available thru Catologue stores like Lee Valley Tools, etc. Have you checked the box stores where you live? (Lowes, HD, etc)

I've got a battery (rechargable) Gardena brand one and am happy with it, except for the maximum cutting height is 45 mm or ~1 3/4". Also got one from Lee Valley (their name on the label) that will cut up to about 3 1/2" - quite happy with it. Here's their home page (although there are many other good retailers around): http://www.leevalley.com/home/main.asp

The height is adjusted by a combination of pins/bolts and the roller.

One thing that I have found is that with heights over (say 3 1/2") and depending on the type of grass you have, reel type mowers tend to lay the grass down instead of cutting it.

You could type 'Reel type mower" into a good search engine to see if you can find a supplier close to you (the problem with searches is that you have to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff - I got 18,990 hits when I typed that into one... )

Hope this helps

Howie
 
  #3  
Old 07-19-03, 02:01 PM
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Where are you that you would cut your grass 5 inches tall? What kind of grass do you have that should be cut 5 inches?
 
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Old 07-19-03, 02:06 PM
Chessie01
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The county I live in (Montgomery County, Md.) advises cutting grass frequently and at a taller height. They say this will allow the grass to smother out some of the weeds. I think the idea with frequent cutting is to get shorter clippings so that they can be left on the lawn.

I assume you don't think this is a good idea...?

Thanks, BTW, for your hints, Howie. If anyone can recommend a particular brand they have tried and liked, that would be most welcome too.
 
  #5  
Old 07-19-03, 02:14 PM
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Hi again chessie

Chris is right about the height - 5" does seem a bit high and even with a rotary mower you'll likely have problems when trying to cut that high. I do agree with cutting frequently, though. I cut every two to three days as any longer would make pushing the manual reel mower a real workout (no pun intended - I have a fairly thick stand of Kentucky Blue/Perennial Ryegrass). Also, in keeping with the "cut no more than 1/3 of the grass blade off at a time" rule, when I cut at 1 3/4", I have to cut that often to avoid stressing the turf too much.

We have our machines in Municipal parks set at 3 1/2" if that's any help...

Btw, I've edited my last post here... I do like the Gardena brand and the Lee Valley brand, but I'm sure there are others that are just as good

Howie
 
  #6  
Old 07-20-03, 07:27 AM
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Hello: Chessie01

One of the reasons to cut grass higher is to allow for the photosynthesis process to work. That process allows the grass or any other foilage, to maintain enough grass blade or foilage in plants, tress, etc. to maintain it's life and stay green.

Cutting almost any outdoor plant, tree or grass too short can drastically reduce the process. In the case of grass, it grows less and or turns brown as it struggles to survive and or slowly dies. Cutting higher usually solves that browning process, if all other conditions are correct.

Another benefit to cutting higher is the retension of moisture. Depending upon climate zones this may be a factor. Hot dry climate zones grass benefits from higher cutting.

Smaller and shorter clippings can be benefical. They often break down faster to help refertilize the soil. Less likely to be tracked into the house on a shoe and deposited on the carpets...

Higher cutting does have negetive effects too. Many and most depend upon the climate zone and grass breed. Bugs are just one negetive effect. Disease, mold, aeration, etc are just a few.

"My Entire Two Cents" deposited here...
 
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Old 07-20-03, 07:47 AM
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Lightbulb Moderators Note

Hello DIY mods and members.

This question was originally found posted in the "Lawns" forum. It is an excellent question, contains several valid points and great replies.

As a result, I copied it here, into this forum, for the benefit of our small engine forum topic readers.

Regards,
Sharp Advice
Web Site Host & Multiple Topics Moderator.
 
  #8  
Old 07-21-03, 06:42 AM
Chessie01
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Wink

Dear "Two Cents" -

Thanks - it's always nice to know the reasons why I'm doing something!
 
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