The Right Mower Can Make Lawn Care a Pushover
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mowing a lawn isn't always something people look forward to. But there are many ways to make the job easier and more effective to provide a lush look that will make your neighbors green with envy.
Kevin Stengl, marketing manager at Pittsfield Lawn & Tractor, said one of his best tips for a more efficient cut is to mow the outline of your yard first. Going around the perimeter one time, then backtracking halfway creating a "U" shaped border before going up and down making rows, will alleviate the need to back up on every swipe and will save you time while giving you a professional-looking finish.
"It actually does save time when you do it," Stengl said.
He said homeowners should also avoid cutting the grass too short and should strive to remove only one-third of the grass height at a time, except for the first mowing of the season when it's OK to remove more.
"Otherwise it won't degrade into the lawn, and will cause a buildup of thatch over time," he said.
In addition, people should strive to have their mowers serviced by having the blade sharpened a few times during the cutting season as well as having the mower's oil changed at least once a season.
And one last tip that you might not think about when pulling out the mower for the first time this spring: Avoid using gas that you stored away last fall.
"Don't use that unless you had put stabilizer in it," Stengl said. "Gas will go bad."
This time of year many may realize it's time to buy a new lawn mower. Maybe you just purchased a new residence and are looking to purchase your first lawn mower, or you need to upgrade or replace your existing mower.
Of course, before you mow the lawn you have to have the right mower.
When choosing a new mower, you might be surprised to know the amount of acreage is not the only factor in determining if you need a riding mower. If you have hills or a large lawn, a riding mower might be the right way to go. If the hills are large, Stengl recommends choosing a riding lawn mower with a larger engine and possibly one that offers four-wheel drive.
Honda and Husqvarna mowers both offer a "personal pace" style mower. This is a self-propelled mower that offers variable drive speeds to the operator. This style allows you to cut grass more comfortably and adjust the mowing speed to your pace.
Riding mower versus push mower often comes down to personal preference. Walk or sit, mowing time, and the size and number of hills to be mowed are some of the most common factors used to decide which equipment is best for you.
When choosing a new mower, inquire about the warranties offered on each brand. The John Deere D10 is one of Pittsfield Lawn & Tractor's two most popular models and comes with a two-year warranty. If you prefer a longer warranty, the John Deere X series offers a four-year bumper-to-bumper deal.
For more information, interested homeowners can contact Pittsfield Lawn & Tractor, 1548 West Housatonic St., Pittsfield, at 413-443-2623 or www.plt.com for more information on different models.
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