Friday, June 6, 2008

Mow Green

I mowed the back yard yesterday.

We got this mower, not because of the cost of gas, but because a few years ago I didn't feel I could use a gas mower safely around my toddlers. I didn't want to leave them in the house alone (this may seem odd but if you had 4 small boys and numerous electrical appliances you would understand), so the grass rarely got mowed.

I remembered reel mowers from my childhood. I remembered that they were heavy and a pain to push, so when dh came home with this one from a garage sale I wasn't completely psyched.

Things have changed. Like cloth diapers there is a whole new generation.

A few things I've learned in my 2 years of reel ownership.

1. Get up to speed. It cuts better if you're moving at a nice speed and the reel is spinning quickly.

2. Mow regularly. Unlike gas mowers this one will not cut down grass over a certain height...say 6"...and will not do a good job with grass over 4" high.

3. Keep the weeds under control. Tall, 'rubbery' weeds like dandelion can bounce right back up after you go over them. Height is an issue here because the stalks quickly pass the 4" stage. Our favorite weed control measure is handing a child a plastic golf club while we mow and telling them to whack the heads off. Very amusing.

4. Watch out for sticks. There's nothing worse than getting up to speed (#1) and get stopped short by a twig the size of your finger.

If all my helpful hints haven't deterred you, there many reasons I love my reel mower. I love the quiet whipwhipwhipwhip sound. I love how light it is. I love that I can smell the cut grass (which falls down and fertilizes the lawn) and not gas or CO2. I love that I can stop the split second a 3 year old runs into my path. I love the price tag (can't beat $25) and the fewer gas tanks in the garage.

Now if only they could invent something between a shovel and a snow blower.


Balisha said...

Hi Tam,
I haven't read a lot of your blog yet...but scrolled down and looked at the pictures first. I saw the reel lawn mower and wondered how you are keeping up with the grass this year? Your weather has been much the same as ours....we wondered will the rain ever stop? Our river is really swollen and way up over its banks. Corn field across the road completely flooded. Some people have "river front property" who never had it before.Hope you are high and dry. You are getting a wonderful workout, when you mow.

Tam said...

Hello Balisha,

This is probably the most I've ever had to use the reel mower. The rain is causing the grass to grow so quickly. My husband or I are mowing it every week.

Even though I live close to a river, it's pretty well controlled. Nothing like Lake Delton yesterday.

Balisha said...

Hi Tam....That was tragic at Lake Delton. They were showing more devastation on CNN this morning. That will be really bad for the tourist business, I would guess.

Anonymous said...

Heh, nevermind the bug killer in the background. ;-)

There's so much in the Dells besides the lake (including the river) I think it hurts the image of the Dell's more than the functionality.

- dh

Tam said...


Don't you know I have an image to protect here? ;)

We should just put up with the dozens of bug bites all over our kids faces, doncha know. Pass the lemon grass.

I think you're right about the Dells, as sad as the tragedy is for those families (especially with the whole insurance fiasco) it certainly didn't hurt the Dells businesses. If anything it gave people something new to photograph.