7 Clever Ways to Mow Your Lawn

Southland Sod Farm

The scent of freshly cut grass can transcend you to memories: lazy Saturday mornings, a picnic at the park, a winning ball game or maybe a place of tranquility.  In fact, studies have shown that chemicals released from cut grass may reduce stress. An Australian company is tapping into that notion and has developed Serenascent at $17 bucks a bottle.  I say simply mow your lawn! 

I was 10 years old when I purchased my first lawnmower, not one that my father bought.  It was a professional 21” wide,  5 horsepower Honda with an orange painted cast iron deck.  In fact, to this day I’m good friends with the guy that sold it to me (he was 20 at the time).  That lawnmower has been in lawnmower heaven for many years (I wore it out) but it did me good.  When I had a crew of 60 people you could imagine I had a fleet of lawnmowers in my career from those that cut 6” swaths of grass to the beast that is pulled by a tractor cutting 16’ wide.  But, how you get your lawn mowed is the trick.

  1. Hire a neighborhood kid. I started my lawn service route the old fashion way by mowing my folk’s lawn. Then the neighbor down the street asked if I’d do his. Before you knew it I was lugging my tools around in a wagon up and down the street.  In those days we weren’t a sue crazy society so if you go this route make certain your homeowners’ insurance covers an oopsie.
  2. Hire a Gardener. This is easier said than done. Gardeners come with all kinds of talents and some with none.  We have the full-service gardener that can cut bushes, trees, weed planters, trim, and mow lawns all the way to the infamous “mow and blow” gardeners.  If you ask your friends who they use they might give a raving revue but when they get to your yard you get less than what you pay for.It’s not uncommon to go through several gardeners that suits your needs but I’m going to tell you right now don’t look for one superficially like the cheapest or prettiest smile.  You might find the best one has a beaten-up truck, wears tattered dirty clothes, and is super expensive.  But, if he does a great job it’s worth it.  Just give each one a fair chance.

Mow the lawn yourself.  What the…?  Who would have thought this would even be possible since you’ve lent your lawnmower to Joe down the street and he hasn’t returned it yet.  Oh, it’s a real thing and so is mowing your own lawn.  You can take the mow and blow approach or become a pro in your own mind paying attention to all the details. You’ve probably seen the letters DYI and forgot what they meant, it’s Do It Yourself and there’s no reason you can’t with today’s technology.

3. Push Mowers.  Mowing your own lawn has health benefits.  If you use an old-school push mower (no engine) or a rotary mower that doesn’t have powered wheels you can tramps up, down and across your grass to get that professional look with those sweet lawn lines while toning that sexy bod of yours.

4.  Reel Mowers.  Gas-powered reel mowers are the real deal but are really expensive and usually only found at high-end lawnmower shops.  They are heavy to muscle around and although the cut can be amazing you need to learn how to adjust it and sharpen the blades regularly.  The learning curve is tough for reel mowers and does take some time but once you’ve mastered it your turf will reflect it.

5.  Gas rotary lawnmowers with power wheel assistance are now the most popular.  They’ll have safety features when starting it and a lever to engage the wheels for guiding it over your turf.  There are always new regulations manufacturers have to follow from noise reduction and emission output the latest models are top-notch.

6.  Battery Rotary Mowers.  Speaking of top-notch battery-powered rotary lawnmowers are fascinating. They’re close to whisper-quiet, can hold a long charge, and become more powerful with each new generation of models.  The lawnmower I use in our Sod.com videos is a battery-powered monster that, if I was still in the lawn maintenance business, my crews would have them on their trucks.

7.  Robotic Mowers.  What does R2-D2, B-9 (Lost in Space), WALL-E, Rosie (Jetsons) have in common with robotic lawnmowers?  Nothing – they can’t cut your lawn!  However, several manufacturers have jumped on the robotic lawnmower craze and it’s mind-boggling. Most are the size of and even shaped like a carry-on suitcase you’d store in an overhead airplane compartment.  After installing perimeter guide wires or sensors a robotic lawnmower is typically GPS guided via a phone app zigzagging over your turf with upwards of three blades pulverizing lawn blades forcing them back into the earth.  The best part is you can mow your lawn at night, several times a week and only you’ll know.

Just for the record, I got permission from Mrs. Things Green that the second they get a Number 6 (Battlestar Galactica) robot to mow a lawn I’ll can be the first customer!

Mowing your lawn also has benefits to your grass.  Turf likes weekly haircuts.  Cutting it to its recommended height encourages it to get thicker which is great for shading the ground and saving water.  You’ll also find out it’ll battle weeds from germinating and can actually choke them out before they emerge.  Kind of like the stronger of the fittest wins.  Trimming also signals roots to become more active and stronger.  Strong roots wards off disease and insects before we even know there’s a problem. 

BONUS FUN FACT:  Prior to the invention of the lawnmower in 1830, livestock were used in lawn maintenance. They included:  Sheep/lamb, bovine (steer/cows), rabbits and goats.

Sheep were used to maintain the White House lawn. When the President entertained, they were herded out to a nearby pasture.

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