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In memory of Karl Davis, founder of this board, who made his final journey 12th June 2007

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Topic Review

[*] posted on 17-9-2017 at 10:56
I have used mowers both commercially and privately for most of my life. A good ride on is hard to beat. The cr*p sold to the domestic market is a "feel good" factor only, I actually found it faster to mow a school oval with push mower that had a 21" deck than it was with a cheap ride on with a 36" deck. A good ride on would knock the same job over in a couple of hours.

When I could, I would use the ride on to mow my home block which only took me 10 minutes with the push mower. (only 'cause I was already on it after mowing the school - definitely overkill). And, yes, I have owned self propelled push mowers, too. My current mower is a Frankenstein beast made from about three mowers that I had. B&S 4HP motor, solid alloy deck, and an old slasher blade off a ride on.

[*] posted on 16-9-2017 at 23:50
Originally posted by scholar
...without the soil getting tracked in as mud when it rains.;)

mud = soil erosion = draining into the municipal sewer system via the storm drains system = sludge = either haul away or emptied into a nearby body of running water (river/ocean type).

That's also where much of the applied chemical fertilizer ends up; in my area impacts the level of oxygen in the nearby Long Island Sound which in turns adversely impacts commercial seafood such as lobsters re die off.

This is a state law that any application of chemical fertilizer on a lawn has to be marked with this very small warning flags (on the periphery) re individuals who may be allergic to any of the ingredients in the fertilizer since some of it will become airborne.

We can all thank Monsanto for a lot more than just Agent Orange.

[*] posted on 16-9-2017 at 23:11
There is a plant called "creeping charlie" that was characterized to me as a weed when it appears in lawns. It is a broad leaf plant that stays close to the ground, and tends to do better than grass under many conditions.

I love it! The more area this plant dominated in my yard, the less I had to mow. I was pleased as it spread.

I also enjoyed clover plants, and violets, for the same reason, and had patches of each.

I think my dad used broad leaf weedkiller from time to time. He also had a gadget that squirted a bit of plant killer right on the weed, through something that was shaped like a cane.

I like a green ground cover, but I don't insist on a golf course lawn. Just keep it nice for walking, without the soil getting tracked in as mud when it rains.;)

[*] posted on 16-9-2017 at 21:48
Originally posted by scholar
.... (especially riding mowers)

For those on this board who have been following this scintillating discussion re all things grass, I offer up another comment:

I have been on a riding mower twice in my life. It was one of the most uncomfortable rides that I have ever experienced on a machine re the severity of the bouncing around; I literally thought that I was going to be thrown off bucking bronco style [bronco = horse].

The culprit was the grass itself.

SOME Americans spend huge amounts of money every year trying to achieve a manicured lawn appearance for their homes. That would include major monies for weed killers, and fertilizer chemicals (both environmental disasters).

My riding mower foray was done a lawn that was 100% crabgrass AKA weeds; it was green alright as far as it goes for a home lawn. Crabgrass is notable for its existence as clumps (rather than a 'carpet') with earth/ground between the clumps (embedded pix gives a limited example of what I'm referring to). So the 'ride' is literally up and down over each clump of grass and then onto the lower surrounding earth, ad infinitum. The same issues occurs with a push mower--kind of like being on a ship in a storm re the tossing around.

If anyone dares ask why don't you just get rid of the crabgrass, the following occurs: I have a high end tiller that can do a very good job of COMPLETELY chopping up a lawn into tiny bits. And then you can seed the entire lawn with your favorite grass seed for your climate (usually done in the Spring). And when the grass comes in, you will have a few weeks of picture book grass; BUT THEN natures asserts itself and wind blown crabgrass seed will outcompete whatever you've planted, and by the end of the growing season your lawn will return to 100% crabgrass. Don't bother trying any sort of weed killer, even the so called environmentally neutral ones, cause in the end you will lose the war.

[*] posted on 16-9-2017 at 19:47
It is certainly true that a gas mower with higher horsepower will cut with more force than a corded electric.

I find that mowing more slowly when the grass is especially high or damp does the trick. Of course, this means a little more time for the chore. Better to get the grass before it gets too out-of-control.

I think that a major reason that some people don't like corded electrics is dragging the cord around. The beginner usually finds himself moving it a lot to get it off the grass he plans to mow next.

The experienced person will start mowing near the place where the cord is plugged in, and plan his route so that he is always dragging the cord behind him, over the area that he has mowed. He might find that a pattern like a horse-drawn plow is better than the spiral pattern than many people favor who use gas mowers (especially riding mowers).;)

[*] posted on 16-9-2017 at 16:56
Re Scholar comments re advantages of an electric (corded) lawn mower [there are battery powered home level lawnmowers as well].

There is one possible exception on the pollution level issues with internal combustion engines versus electrics (FYI: all the motorized lawn mowers that I know about are the 4 cycle type, i. e., you don't add oil to the gas as you MUST do with 2 cycle engines). The exception is the Left Coast state of California. They have their own supposedly strictest in the entire USA emissions standards, i. e., machines like cars sold there are different than the rest of the USA. So it's possible that lawnmowers sold there emit less polutants than electrics.

California, OR should I say Californians, like to thump their chests that they are the most environmentally conscious citizens in the USA. And on paper it would appear they are.

Anecdote: way way back long ago as I drove across the border between Nevada and California, I, and all cars, had to stop at a checkpoint manned by California Agricultural Inspectors--I had never heard of such a thing before. The inspector asked me if I had any food in the car, and I had packed a lunch with an apple; when I responded in the affirmative, and showed him my brown bag lunch, he made me discard the apple on the basis that there could be some bug/blight/whatever in/on it, and his role was to see to it that my apple did not contaminate the CA agricultural crop.

By the way probably thee major reason that electric lawn mowers are not as popular as gas powered ones is an owner's concern that electrics don't have as much 'ump' as a gas powered one when it comes to mowing an overgrown lawn (and especially a wet overgrown lawn).

At some level there is a pubic health issue with shoes/feet accidents getting cut up by the mower blades; it does happen. Wearing work boots (rather than sneakers) seems to be common in mower user manuals. FYI: mowers built in the last 10 years, and probably longer, have a safety bar that has to be held against the push bar as you cut the grass; if you release it the mower motor stops instantly [a few more expensive models will simply stop theblades from spinning].

Ain't Thread Drift Wonderful!!!

[*] posted on 16-9-2017 at 14:31
As I see Frank pushing hard on the mower, I am pretty sure it is not self-propelled. I used to have a self-propelled mower, and it needed no pushing effort, only some steering (unless I needed to pull it backwards while working around irregular edges, vacuum-cleaner style).

I have also owned a self-propelled mower on which the self-propelling feature was broken. It was heavy to push. But, this disadvantage made it cheaper for me to buy, second-hand.

I don't use fuel-powered mowers any more. Corded electric mowers are the best! They start dependably, you don't have to make trips to get fuel for them, they don't have carburetors to varnish up over disuse, you don't have to clean or replace the air filter, you don't have to replace a battery such as for key-ignition gas mowers, you don't have to change the oil. . . .

[*] posted on 16-9-2017 at 13:41
The USA morning media had a shorter clip of this.

Probably not considered relevant by the media is the fact that this lawnmower did NOT have a grass clips (catching) bag attached to the rear of the mower [perhaps not attached since when it gets to be full it adds some weight to the mower, i. e., mower gets to be harder to push--this did NOT looklike a self-propelled mower (hard to tell)]. FYI for some years now there have been mulching type mowers that clipped the grass so finely (unless the grass is really high) that a clips bag was not needed and the cut grass 'refertilized' the lawn with minimal dead grass visible--these types of lawnmowers are more expensive.

[*] posted on 16-9-2017 at 10:16