As the promise of spring approaches, gardeners everywhere are getting ready to mow. If you need to invest in a new mower this year, check out our useful information to help you choose the right one.
Hand-push, ride on, electric or petrol?
In the first instance, you will need to decide between hand-push, electric or petrol mowers. Hand-push are only suitable if you have a very small garden as, while cheap to buy and free to run, they are hard work. Electric mowers tend to be cheaper than petrol ones, but they are also less powerful. If you have a big garden, the cord of an electric mower might limit your mowing options, too. There are an increasing number of rechargeable electric lawn mowers on the market, which are worth considering as they are versatile, cheaper and better for the environment. If you have a large garden, a wider cut can save you time when mowing, but if your garden is very big, it may be worth considering getting a self-propelling model or a ride-on mower.
If you thought that the big decision was how the mower was powered, think again! All mowers are different and will produce a different quality cut.
Cylinder mowers give the best quality cut. They cut shorter and are best for getting the striped lawn effect. Their scissor-like blades are arranged around a cylinder, for a fine cut and low cutting heights. These are most suitable for sports turf and fine lawns.
A rotary mower has a horizontal blade that cuts as it spins. While a rotary blade doesn’t give the fine cut of a cylinder mower, it is better at handling uneven surfaces and longer grass, so is more suitable for the average garden. You can get cylinder mowers with a rear roller, that will still help you to achieve a striped finish.
A hover mower works in the same way as a rotary mower, but instead of rolling along the ground on wheels, it sits on a layer of air. Self-propelling ones are available, at a price.
Mulching mowers are another type of rotary mower. While most mowers collect grass cuttings as they go, the mulching mower finely chops up the cuttings and spreads it back on the turf, returning those valuable nutrients to the grass.
Ride-on mowers, the ultimate boys’ toy, are usually only needed if you have an extremely large garden. Like electric and petrol mowers, ride-ons come in a range of shapes and sizes to suit your preference and budget, but they are significantly more expensive than manual mowers.
The type of lawn mower that best suits you will depend on your location, the size of your garden, and, of course, your budget. Do plenty of research before investing, as your lawn mower will probably be one of the biggest investments that you make in your garden, as well as one of your most-used garden tools.
Whether you are new to mowing or you just want to refresh your knowledge, follow us on Facebook or Twitter for next week’s instalment of Mowing 101. Alternatively, if you have a specific question, just Ask A Trader and we will find you an answer.