Choosing Lawn Mowers

There was a time when we didn’t worship lawns. Long before I remember. Now choosing lawn mowers is an important part of keeping a lawn.

Lawns are fields of grass like pastures. Many grasses are the same in both places. In spring those grasses do their best to grow tall, lush and seed.

This may make great hay. It makes a lousy lawn. Pushing through or searching for a crochet ball in thigh high grass is no fun.

common milkweed sprout
Among the hazards in the yard are the common milkweed sprouts (Asclepias syriaca) coming up. Usually the grass gets mowed before they come up making them easier to spot. This year they are buried in the grass and marked with rods. The lawn mower must go around the patch, but not too far as the remaining grass is cut by hand.

The solution is to mow the lawn grasses down to a manageable height. This brings us back to choosing lawn mowers.

My grandparents had a sickle mower. It had a series of blades arranged in a cylinder mounted between the wheels. The operator pushed a long wooden handle pushing the mower over the lawn to turn the blades cutting the grass.

This was hard work. If the grass was more than two inches too long, it was nearly impossible. These belong in a museum perhaps, definitely not in use anymore.

Then came the push mower. An engine turned the blade cylinder. Forward movement was still provided by the operator. Long grass was still a great problem. They were a way to develop leg and shoulder muscles.

The cylinder of blades is long gone now. Blades whirl under a platform slicing off the grass and throwing it out the opening on one side along with rocks and other debris.

The forward motion of the mower has changed too. There are some a person must push, I suppose. Most have engines pulling the blades along now.

There are the self propelled ones the operator walks behind. The person can turn, pull back, move in close, avoid wanted plants and get lots of exercise.

We have used a self propelled mower for years. Parts of the yard cam only be cut with one. The mower requires a strong back and legs.

choosing lawn mowers to fit the job and age
This mower is old, but it runs. With care it should last as long as I need it. Age catches up with a person and many of the tasks that were once easy to do become difficult. that includes lawn mowing. So the riding mower is now a needed machine.

Many people now have riding mowers. They sit up in the seat with a steering mechanism to turn the mower running along at some speed. These come in a variety of sizes.

We’ve gotten older. Mowing is harder and takes longer. We finally made the decision to get a riding mower to cut much of the lawn. Age made choosing lawn mowers different than before.

Pastures can be beautiful swaths of green as seen in “My Ozark Home“.