March Project: How to Pick and Maintain a Lawnmower

Before you pick a lawnmower, you want to consider several factors: weight, power, cost, safety features, handling, clipping disposal.

You also want to pick a lawnmower that makes sense for your yard. Consider your lawn's size, space, terrain, landscaping, etc.

Picking a Lawnmower
If you have a small lawn, purchase a push-reel mower which cuts with a scissorlike action of rotating blades passing over a small knife blade.

If you have a big lawn comprised of bluegrass or fescue (grass that doesn't need to be cut too short), pick a gas- or electric-powered rotary mower. With a gas- or electric-powered rotary mower, a circular blade rotates under a protective housing.

You should also consider the clippings when picking a mower. If you don't want to rake clippings, pick up a mulching mower. This will break down the clippings so that they hide in the grass.

Choose a gas-powered reel mower if you have a large lawn made of grasses that need to be trimmed shorter than two inches.

For hilly or large lawns, you'll want a self-propelled mower. Save yourself the hassle of pushing the mower around the rough terrain!

If you have a huge lawn (and you're lazy, just kidding), buy a riding lawn mower. It'll speed up the process and save you from walking long distances.

If you have someone cut your lawn, you may want to reconsider. You should invest in your own mower anyway because lawn diseases can spread through mowers.

Maintaining the Mower
Keep the cutting blade sharp and the underside of the mower clean.

Rotary mowers are the most popular type of lawnmower. They have many benefits including a lightweight design and easy-to-sharpen blades. In fact, you can sharpen them without having to take it to a service shop. Reel mowers have to be professionally sharpened.

With everyone riding the “green” wave, electric mowers are becoming more popular. Rechargeable batteries allow you to mow up to 1/3 of an acre, and you can do so without a cumbersome cord. However, you'll have to mow more often with an electric mower because they don't cut as deep.

Lawn mower accidents can cause serious injuries, so closely consider a lawnmower's safety features. You should look for a power mower that has a blade-shutoff switch and a dead-man switch.

Also, while mowing, watch the ground and refrain from running over anything other than grass.

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