Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lawn Care: Practical

I received six responses to my posting about lawn care that seem worth passing along. The first five offer advice that may be useful to some. The sixth is in the next post.


You can get a sharpener fron Planet Natural and sharpen your reel mower. I tried it and it was pretty easy: It's sharpens a lot of brands-reel mowers, but not all. Take care! I also used a Great
States non-power mower for years, and never had the blades sharpened, though it probably would have worked better if I did. Once or twice, over a dozen years or so, I got around to squirting some WD40 or oil on the moving parts. I'm pretty sure mine cost about $85 dollars, either Home Depot or American Hardware (the one on Watchung Plaza). I still remember at Home Depot how they had to lead me to the back, behind all the many power machines in front, for the non-polluting device that cost a fraction, the one I bought. There were two to choose from, both under $100, while there were at least 15 or 20 of the gigantic, gas-powered models that cost much more.
And there is definitely no time benefit to the gas-guzzlers. A neighbor with a same-size lawn used to mow when I did. Aside from having to listen to his machine, and breathe the poisonous vapors it was spewing, I noted time and again that he saved no time, and worked much harder shoving around this noisy behemoth, with its trail of
dangerous fumes.
I would add to this that the newest generation of reel mowers have blades that don't ever need to be sharpened. They are also so light that it feels like pushing one
of those old Bissell carpet sweepers. I have a Brill reel mower and it is MUCH easier than the gas mower and cuts really nicely (with a satisfying "swish swish" as the grass gets trimmed). My only complaint is that the highest setting provides a closer crop than I would normally want. But other models (this was a gift) probably have higher settings.
I've been using a reel or non-power mower for the last four years. Did a lot of research and settled on a Brill Razorcut 38, made in Germany. It's a bit on the expensive since ($209) but well worth considering it only weight 17 lbs whereas the typical reel mower you find locally weigh in 30-40 lbs. The light weight lets me finish my lawn quicker than what my neighbor can do with his self propelled gas mower in a similar sized property. A lot easier to carry in-out of the garage also.

Here's a good website - People Powered Machines - that compares reel mowers, this is also where I purchased mine.
When I was in Cuba in the 90s I was horrified at the state of homes and lawns as well as public gardens and surprised at the teams of men with scythes making hotel gardens meticulous, giving a whole new meaning to hammer and sickle. lol

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