If bushes and hedges are the borders of your landscape, the lawn is your canvas. Having a beautiful, green and healthy lawn is fundamental to having an aesthetically pleasing and functional outdoor space. While it may look great when you first lay it, there are some basic steps every landowner needs to take to keep the yard looking healthy and green.
Regular lawn mowing keeps your grass healthy and growing. When you clip off the top of the grass, the blades branch out and eventually become denser, giving you a fuller lawn. But you don't want to cut off more than ⅓ of the length, so check your mower to see if you can adjust the height – most people cut their grass too short, leading to the roots dying out and, eventually, a patchy lawn that will require extra attention to weed control. Frequent mowing helps your lawn, too; the nitrogen and nutrients released when you cut the grass breaks down quickly and can reduce your need to fertilize by almost 25 percent and making lawn care easier.
Rotary mowers are probably what you think of when you picture electric lawn mowers. Their single blade spins horizontally (parallel to the ground) to suck and tear grass, as seen in both hand-pushed rotary mowers and self-propelled rotary mowers. Both are able to cut a variety of different grasses and are usually powered with a gas or electric engine. Riding lawn mowers also fall into the rotary mower category and are most helpful when you have a very large yard to maintain.
Reel mowers involve manual lawn mowing, without the help of electricity or gas. They are usually self-propelled, though there are more expensive types, commonly used at golf courses, which are pulled by a tractor. Reel mowers are better for the environment, but they have a harder time cutting longer blades of grass or weeds. However, the blades, which spin perpendicular to the ground, are considered a healthier way for lawns to be mowed. Reel mowers require the operator's muscle power to work and provide a pollution-free alternative to the gas-powered rotary mowers.
Purchasing used lawn mowers is a good way to save some money up front, especially when purchasing larger, more expensive models. There are a couple things to keep in mind when buying used lawn mowers. If you're buying a traditional, small mower, be sure the blades are sharp. Always test the mower you're looking at by actually mowing some grass so you can gauge its effectiveness.