Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I think everyone knows how I feel about lawn mowing but just in case...

I really really hate mowing the lawn. When I first bought my house five years ago, I had this foolish notion that I would be able to mow my lawn with a non motorized push mower. Ugh. In the first place, it wouldnt mow the grass if it was too high which meant that I had to mow *twice* a week in May and June. In the second place, it always left my lawn looking like it had just had a bad haircut. In the third place, it was a little bit more of a workout than I was looking for.

I have a pretty big lawn and with the push mower, it would take me an hour to do the front and two hours to do the back. It is *really* hard too. I have thought about putting an ad in the paper advertising a miracle new environmentally friendly workout and then having people come over to pay me to mow my lawn for ½ hour at a time. It is a good plan except for one major flaw. Anyone with a lawn can get a non motorized push mower for practically free because a lot of poor suckers have acquired them without realizing how hard they are.

Then I bought a battery powered electric mower without considering that I dont have a garage to store it in. I have a shed but there is no place to charge it up there. That meant storing it in the basement. Which meant lugging all 500 lbs of it up and down stairs every time I wanted to mow the lawn. Eventually I mowed over a brick or something that was hiding in some tall grass and broke it. I still have it and probably need to offer it up on Freecycle because I am sure there is someone who would be interested in it if they are the type who knows how to fix things. I spent many hours and at least a hundred dollars in spare parts trying to fix it myself though so it might actually be useless. But, if anyone who reads this wants it, email me at slynne##at##slynne[dot]com or leave a comment here.

After the fiasco with the electric mower, I started renting lawn mowers. They cost around $25 for a half a day which is all I need to mow my lawn front and back. This method of dealing with the lawn actually worked pretty well for me for an entire summer. I didn’t want to buy a new lawn mower because I was pretty sure I was going to be able to fix my battery powered one (oh foolish me). The drawback was that the mowers I was renting didn’t fit into my car well which made it a pain in the neck to pick up and drop off the mowers. The advantages of this was that I never had to do anything to take care of the mower. I never had to check the oil or fill it with gasoline. I didn’t have to clean it after I used it. I didn’t have worry about sharpening the blade. There are advantages to this method.

Also, I did the math and realized that I had spent around $200 renting mowers over the course of a season and it would have been more except that I borrowed my parents’ mower whenever they went out of town. This is something they don’t officially know about even though I totally bent the blade while trying to mow near my steps. I had to replace the blade and then act dumb when my father said “It is the funniest thing, the blade on the lawn mower was in really bad shape at the beginning of the year and now it looks almost brand new.”

“I think that some kinds of blades sharpen themselves on the grass while you mow” was my reply.

Yeah, I don’t think he bought it.

So, realizing that I am a lawn mower abuser and that serious familiar strife would occur if kept sneaking the folks’ lawn mower and that I would waste my money if I kept renting them, I decided that I would buy a more traditional mower. I picked out the toughest mother f*cker I could find: A bright shiny red Toro. I figured that if I could get it to work for just one season, it would almost be cheaper than renting. And that sucker worked just great until nearly the last mow of the season. Then the drive part broke. That is the part that propels it so I can turn lawn mowing into just a ridiculous walk up and down and up and down and up and down my yard. I can still mow with it but it isn’t as easy.

But I will most likely mow my front yard either today or tomorrow. And so begins lawn season.


E-Speed said...

I pulled the starter cord thing completely out on my second mow :) Luckily it turned on even though I pulled it out so I just kept mowing until I was done :)

Sandy D. said...

You need to dig up large portions of your lawn and put some perennials (surrounded by mulch) or annuals in.

This has been a freakishly early year for mowing. And my arm is aching from the (electric) weed whacking I did yesterday on the portions that were already too high for our push (reel) mower.

Lynne said...

Oh Elizabeth, I did that to a lawnmower I owned once. What is it about those darn cords?

Lynne said...


I actually have a better plan going on in my backyard (which no one can really see). I let huge portions of it "grow wild" and then tell everyone that the tall grass is "ornamental grasses" ;) I put lots of wild flower seeds out there and end up with some really cool things.

Sandy D. said...

"Wild Ones" - a native plant group - has some signs you can buy to stick in your yard here:

I thought they were kind of pretentious, but then again so are chem-lawns. ;-)