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Do YOU Mow? Tell Me!
March 31, 2012
11:37 am
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Suzanne McMinn
Sassafras Farm in Roane County, WV
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Do you mow?  (Especially talking to women here.)  Do you like to mow?  Do you hate to mow?

 

I have a big yard and I'm going to have to mow it, or pay someone to mow it.  I'm thinking it would be cheaper if I mowed it.... (Uh....duh!)  I'm kinda scared of mowers, and weedeaters.  I'm going to get a lawnmower and weedeater this week.  Would love some women-friendly mower and weedeater suggestions.  (As in, easy to start!  And not too heavy!)  I'm looking for a self-propelled push mower in particular.  (I will need a small lawn tractor also, but I think I might be getting a hand-me-down there via family, so just looking for the push mower and the weedeater right now.)

 

Looking for suggestions and encouragement!

Clover made me do it.

March 31, 2012
12:03 pm
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Joelle
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happy-flowerHello Suzanne, I LOVE mowing the grass, I mow about 2.5 acres, and I love my time on the mower, it is so peaceful. I also use a weed eater and trim around 50 trees and some large flower beds, we have 2 lawn tractors both  made by Johm Deere one is a large one with power steering and even cruise control (I have never used that feature) but the power steering is wonderful, they both have a trailer hitch....the small tractor (mower) one is good for the "small yard" it is fenced in for our little fur-baby and I can hook my small trailer up to it to transport things, I also use a hand mower, and self propelled is certainly worth the extra money. For the Weed Eater, I have the "feather weight" model it is light weight an easy to use, I have a fashioned a strap from and old leather belt to make it even easier to carry. Owning a farm the size of yours,you should use a tractor and mower yourself and feel comfortable using them, as long as you are aware of what you are doing, you are as safe as driving on a free way (only my opinon) I would certainly consider a roll bar for your bigger mowers and tractors given the lay of your property.

 Suzanne, I understand why you are afraid of tractors, but you are a farmer, and you need to know how to use a tractor. You will be fine once you get the hang of running one. Good grief woman, you are totally fearless  you can do this!

PS--my push mower is a Honda, I have had 2 Honda push moweres in 30 years,and my present one still runs like new--- you can also find good deals on trade- ins, also wat to add, I am old enough to be your Mother and then some, and have problems with my shoulders and arms to me, there is nothing more satisfiying than to sit on the porch swing with a very cold drink or two and survey all of my beautiful work.

  "Be kinder than necessary, everyone is fighting some sort of battle."

March 31, 2012
1:08 pm
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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I have an ancient Sears brand self propelled push mower, and have been the 'senior mowing specialist' around here for as long as I can remember.  At times while I was away from the area, our hilly yard has gotten totally out of control, and it's taken a lot of work to get it back into shape. 

Here's a photo of what our yard looked like when I first came back after retiring from the AF.  They're pretty weeds, but they were totally out of control weeds!  outBack_m.jpgImage Enlarger

 

If you have a local shop that sells and maintains a good line of mowers, I strongly suggest that you spend some extra to buy locally there and count on them to maintain it for you.  Perhaps they even have a plan for yearly tune-ups and blade sharpening.  Honestly, I learned to do a lot of things for myself because it's just smarter to at least know what needs to be done, but the fact is, it's not always possible to do it myself, either because of time constraints, or not always having the right tools, or even that it's just a pain in the neck to do it!

Located in N.E. Ohio

March 31, 2012
1:31 pm
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brookdale
Eastern Maine
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Yes I like to mow, and I'm lots older than you!

My push mower is an oldie with big wheels in the back, I like that feature. It's kinda hard to start but I can do it after a few pulls. I got at a yard sale years ago.

My weed wacker is an electric one, MUCH lighter weight than a gas model, just be careful not to cut the cord, don't ask me how I know! A shoulder strap is a great feature if you can get it.

I'll admit, DH uses his big riding mower/tractor for the big back lawn, but I do the trimming around the gardens and edges with either my mower or the weedwacker.

You'll find you can do lots of mowing with just the weedwacker, especially on the slopes and rough ground that it looks like you have there.

What BG said above about yearly tuneups is a very good idea. Nothing worse than being all ready to mow and have to take the mower to the shop because "someone" forgot to run the gas out or clean it up last fall and now it won't start!

And it's such a great feeling to sit back and look at your freshly mowed yard and say, "I did that, and it looks and smells wonderful!"

Good luck to you in this latest of your adventures!

P.S. If you get a mulching mower, you won't have to rake up the cut grass, just leave it there and it will be very good for the lawns. A mulching mower cuts it into tiny pieces with more blades.

Remember, if it rains on your picnic it's also raining on your garden!

March 31, 2012
1:37 pm
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cityMouse
Vancouver Canada
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Hi Suzanne, I used to hate mowing too.   Gas mowers freak me out so I know what you mean. They are loud and spit out rocks like missiles.  Yikes.... but the last time I lived in a house, a year ago (I'm in a city apartment now... alas), my roommate bought an electric mower - it's battery powered, so you only plug it in to charge - and what a difference!  It was light, easy to use and maneuver, not at all scary, quiet, and I did half an acre and still had charge left.  And the grass was over 4 inches high too.  So my two-cents worth is to try out several models.  Don't bypass the battery ones!  Altho of course I don't know how well they would work on such a big place.... Your place is big enough that you might look at ride-on mowers, which would be a lot of fun!  Like a MINI tractor.  And you might be able to pick up one second hand.  You can do it! They drive like golf carts!

March 31, 2012
1:54 pm
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Murphala
Bloomington
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I currently have an MTD mower, and have had a Yard Man.  Both are OK.  The very best lawnmower I have ever had was my first MTD, which was "borrowed" by a "friend" and never returned.  I'm still sad.  The first MTD started year after year, first pull.  It also fit me well, as I'm taller and the handle fell right in the 'sweet spot' at just the right angle.  Both of my subsequent mowers, no matter how I adjust them, are not comfortable to use.

I used to have a somewhat OCD attitude toward my lawn.  I loved nothing better than to have those beautiful sweeping stripes of mowed lawn displayed.  I was so into that I even looked into getting one of those bars you hang on the back of the mower that drags the grass into one direction to make even more distinct stripes!  When I was done, I would sometimes get in the car and circle the block so I could see what it looked like to people driving by.  I loved my lawn stripes. It was a sickness.

I use an electric weed eater with two giant extension cords and yes, you don't want to cut that cord.  Or have the joined plugs accidentally fall into your pond. I had a gas powered one but I could never start it and it was *heavy*.  I gave it away.  Happy mowing!clover

March 31, 2012
2:15 pm
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tinamanley
York, South Carolina
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I love mowing!!  It's someplace I can sit (riding lawnmowers are great) and not be able to hear anybody calling my name.  I can't hear the phone.  It's just me and my thoughts and I can look behind me and see what I have accomplished.  That's not always true with our tasks!  The lawn looks so great after I finish.  Now we have 63 acres and I don't mow all of it.  The five acres in front are enough so that by the time I finish mowing it once, it's time to start again.  I'd much rather mow than do housework!!

 

Tina

March 31, 2012
2:29 pm
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mamajhk
South Central Kansas
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I used to do all the mowing and weedeating til hubby retired (now that's HIS job).  I considered pushing a lawnmower exercise (beat take a walk down the block).  I would do the weedeating first then mow.

March 31, 2012
2:32 pm
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LisaAJB
Iowa
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I like to think of mowing as vacuuming but outside. I used to mow all the time, but last summer my husband was training for a marathon and wanted some light exercise to do on his day off of running. So he got the mower.

March 31, 2012
2:48 pm
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Bev in CA
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We had a gas mower that is self-propelled for years.  It was a mulcher mower.  If you have lots of grass and don't want to rake (just another step in mowing) you will have to empty the bag constantly. that gets old.   A mulcher mower leaves very little grass cuttings.  The minus is that you have to make sure your grass is dry.  No early mowing.  After time the grass will build up under the mower.  You also need to clean it out after each use.  You don't want to be cutting real tall grass.  It doesn't mulch real well.  You would have to raise up the mower height, cut and then lower and cut again.   Most important is checking the oil level before each use.  More engines burn up because of this.  Watch for rocks etc.  Hitting them will dull your blades.  Our new place has way more grass and we now have a riding mulcher mower.  Ouch, just had to replace the shaft because DH hit a rock.  In the winter prep for spring.  New spark plug, change the oil, blades and anything else the manual tells you do.  You will get many, many years of use out of your mower.  We laugh.  Can't wait for spring and then we war with all the green growth.  By the time summer arrives it does slow down!  Weed-eaters are great.  You can do so much with them   Our gas weed-eater is too heavy for me after using for awhile.  The electric is lighter and is great for around the house.  Hope this helps     

March 31, 2012
2:54 pm
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Ross
Bel Air Maryland
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I think of lawn mowing as exercise with the benefit of a nice looking yard. Mowing an acre with a walk behind requires about five miles of walking. When one of my sons was in high school he was asking for a set of weights for body building. I told him to mow lawns for pay. It was better exercise and paid better. There is small difference between lifting weights and handling a lawn mower across a lawn. So my son mowed twelve lawns a week and had more spending money than anyone he knew.

For large lawns that you don't want to mow, fence them and graze sheep.

March 31, 2012
3:08 pm
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copgrrl
Hatchling
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So here is my take on the whole lawn mower thing. I only have a 5000 square foot lot which of course 1/3 is taken up by the house. Now, I am a 40 hour a week working stiff who prefers to garden--vegetable and herb. I was mowing my lawn, it is really no big deal. I also used an electric weed wacker. But here's the thing. With only 2 days of which only one is with my spouse, I have decided to forgo the lawn mowing and pay someone. The way I see it, I am helping the economy because there is someone out there who does this for a living and it gives him/her work which they in turn put back into the economy. If I were smart, I would rent a goat or two, tether them so they have a limited run in the yard to only eat grass. But paying for yard grooming will be okay with me because I then have more time to do the things I love--garden, make cheese, bake bread and walk my greyhound.

This all being said, IF I go back to mowing my own yard I would strongly recommend a battery operated lawn mower. Low impact on the ecology and could probably even be solar charged. Here is one of the higher end models:

http://www.neutonpower.com/

They manufacture other wonderful tools too. 

So, maybe to just get over your fear and trepidation you could try the whole lawn mowing thing a couple of times. Once you get your fill, I vote for farming it out, so's to speak! Good luck and have fun!!

 

Janicehappy-flower

March 31, 2012
3:28 pm
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grannieof10
Banty
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Hi...you bet I mow, and I love it.  We have 3 acres just in yard with many trees to mow around.  Mowing time is the best time to think, make plans, just be with myself

and enjoy.  I also do the weed eating and mow the trim, who needs to go the the gym??  I have a lovely yard and it makes me proud of myself to be able to do it, at the advanced age of 65.

March 31, 2012
3:34 pm
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GrammieEarth
Nova Scotia, Canada
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I am a strong woman, yet I have never been able to pull a cord to make a lawnmower/whippersnipper/outboard motor start purring.  :(   Something about the speedy wrist snap that doesn't seem to work when I attempt to start.

A good quality, well sharpened, manual push mower is great ... IF you don't have much to mow.  Electric whippersnippers work too...much lighterand less stinky than the pull cord, gas powered ones. I have found the battery operated ones to be far less effective than the electric version.

I love to mow my grass.  I loved it when I was in a space that required a ride on, loved it when I was pushing a self propelled mower (most often started by someone else), love it when I push mow. 

Totally agree with the mulching machines...emptying the bag gets old fast, and the mulching does better for your yard than the compost from grass will do for your garden. 

I also love BEG's wildflower...ahem... uncontrolled weed yard. :)

Pam

If money was everything, the poor would never be happy and the rich would never be miserable. Author Unknown

March 31, 2012
3:46 pm
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holstein woman
Yankton, (St. Helens)Oregon
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I have mowed many yards in my years. When I owned the property and was single I mowed 1/3 acre with a push mower. I like the brigs and strattan motors. When it needed service I did it and went on my merry way. I did have trouble with the string pull starters. Darn things was beyond me most of the time. If I could get it started I NEVER turned it off until I was finished with the whole job.

 

Now I am married and DH says the neighbors does the yard-----and they have for 5 years. Bob runs a wonderful JD every week---unless the yard is full of haying equipment like it is now. When we lost the old property we lost the shelters for the haying equipment. Now we have bought new property with shelter for the equipment and if we don't get it there soon I will have to bring in the cows to mow the front. 
The won't care about the stuff in the yard and will get close to it to mow.

I have a shindiawia weed eater that I really enjoy, I use it especially on blackberries. They are guaranteed for years and will take a beating. 

March 31, 2012
3:56 pm
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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laugh  Thanks GrammieEarth, it's a bit better mowed now though, I do still leave a little verge of those weeds though.  Of course, if you plan for them, are they really weeds anymore?  I know it's a bit nutty, but I still think they're fun as long as they don't take over.

And then of course there's the daffodils that show their faces every spring, the ones the squirrels and gravity has spread down along and amidst the 'lawn'.  I could never put that 'weed and feed' stuff down, it would kill all but the smallest percentage of plants down back!

It got that bad because at one point my father was so sick of mowing, he just scattered massive amounts of wildflower seed and totally let it GO!  I'm not actually against doing that again, but I do want at least a little open area.  My dad back when he started that little experiment mowed a meandering trail through the 'meadow'.  It was actually lovely at the time, but it wound up with just a few of the most invasive weeds surviving, and some of the nicest getting pushed out.

You have to understand that we live on a lot that has woods on two sides, a steep hill up to the road on a third, and the fourth is the upper Cuyahoga river at the bottom of the hill (which is that water you see in that picture).  It was a magical place to grow up, fishing, wading, swimming, canoeing.  It's not quite so wonderful when you are 50+ and need to keep it decently... chickens help!  Plus they love to follow the lawn mower grabbing up all the bugs it reveals!

Located in N.E. Ohio

March 31, 2012
4:15 pm
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GrammieEarth
Nova Scotia, Canada
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holstein woman said
. I did have trouble with the string pull starters. Darn things was beyond me most of the time. If I could get it started I NEVER turned it off until I was finished with the whole job.

 

LOL That's what I did too!  Guaranteed I did not want to ask 'someone bigger n  stronger' to pull my string again!  LOL

If money was everything, the poor would never be happy and the rich would never be miserable. Author Unknown

March 31, 2012
4:40 pm
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PaulaClark
Powell, Al
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I used to do all the mowing, about 1/2 an acre, with a walk behind, self-propelled mower. I LOVED  it. But then I developed some back trouble and that much walking and pushing and pulling( going around trees and shrubs) started to trouble me. So the hubby took over some of it and then he needed another knee replacement so he was slowed down. So we said that was enough and we sold that house, quit out house painting business and moved north a bit. Now we have almost an acre and a lovely John Deere riding mower that he hasn't turned over to me yet. He is getting his knee replacement done very soon so I will be able to get my hands on that mower then. I am getting excited. Mowing grass is so relaxing to me. And we are retired so I have all day.

March 31, 2012
4:50 pm
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yvonnem
Big Chicken
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You can do it Suzanne!  I'm not crazy about mowing, but I do like a nice looking yard.  Hubby uses a small John Deere riding mower, and I use a push mower around the porches and deck and other places the JD won't fit into.  I'm not at all afraid of the push mower, but I am of the riding mower!  He is always asking me if I want to try it out, and I'm like NO!  (It has a good "jerk" to it when you take off...don't like that.)  Funny, I'll ride a 4-wheeler and not a mower.

 

He does the weed-eating, gas powered.  That thing leaves his hands shaking when he's done.  But after reading these replies, I'm going to get myself an electric weed eater to help him out.  I'm excited about getting one! warrior

March 31, 2012
4:51 pm
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yvonnem
Big Chicken
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Hey, I just went from Banty to Big Chicken..COOL!!!shimmy

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