By now you all have a REALLY good idea that I am pretty much the ultimate jinx. I will not use a lawn mower. I would love to say I am doing my part to make the world “green” but it is really because I am totally petrified of those mechanical monsters. I wish I could say it was for the more noble reason of going “green”.
When I was about ten years old we had two riding lawn mowers. My brother and I were mowing the lawn and my crazy mower would not stop when I tried to brake. The mower’s left two wheels drove right up onto the bulkhead and flipped the mower over on top of me. My father was outside but I will never forget the feeling of the fear being pinned under that mower, while it was running, with the blade still spinning above my head – not below where it belonged. So, I never rode a lawn mower again.
Years later, when I was in college and living with my mother, she asked me to mow the lawn. The lawn was much smaller then – easy peasy – and she had a push mower. Nope – didn’t even survive that one. The mower spit a rock right into the flesh of my shin! Had to dig that sucker out and vowed to never mow a lawn again.
My husband and I work a lot of hours and our busy seasons vary slightly. There was a time last year when he was extremely busy and the grass just kept growing. I didn’t complain because I didn’t have a solution. Then I ordered a nice reel mower online. I love my mower. The first time I used it on that crazy tall grass was the best workout I ever had. It took me two hours and I only finished a very small portion of the front lawn. Reel mowers are not designed for tall grass. I had to do the same area like ten times just to make a dent in that hay field!
We don’t have a huge yard but it is half an acre. The next week I moved to the back yard which has various heights of grass since the sun doesn’t hit everything evenly. Half the yard barely needed to be mowed even after weeks. The other half had me working up a huge sweat for a couple days. But I was happy – the yard was done just in time for me to start it again.
Reel mower facts:
They do not have engines. They are not loud – I can mow the lawn and still pay attention to my kids. I don’t need to mess with gas or oil and I don’t smell afterwards. I can mow the lawn at any time of day without disturbing anyone with loud noise. I can use it around my kids – mine has a child guard on it – without fear of someone getting run over or getting hit by a shooting rock.
The blades cut the grass and drop it right back on the lawn rather than shredding the grass. It is much better for the lawn (so I am told).
They come in all sizes, with or without guards etc… When I bought mine I wanted the widest blades possible. Problem is that it is incredibly difficult to push with such a large blade and I can’t get into tight spots with it. Smaller sizes are very light and manageable while mine – even without mowing grass is quite heavy. I still love it but I think a need a second smaller one to give me some added versatility.
I cannot use my reel mower with the dogs in the yard though. It is safe enough for the kids but for some reason the dogs treat it like it is a woodchuck in the yard. They try biting at the blade, they chase it and jump in front of me – so they are in the kennel when I use the reel mower.
I do get a little nervous with the mower being in the garage with the kids bikes. They have certainly never bothered with the blade on the riding mower or push mower but I was sure they would be interested in touching the cylinder blade of a reel mower. So far they have not really given it two seconds notice.
We tend to get lots of sticks in our yard from all the neighbors trees. Before I can use the reel mower I (and the kids) need to pick up even the smallest of the sticks. I hate it when I am cruising along on a nice strip of grass and a stick gets stuck in the cylinder blades and stops me dead in my tracks!
I have the Scotts 2000-20 20-inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower. It was a little pricey as far as reel mowers go but definitely worth it. My husband even uses it every now and then even though we have a rider and a push mower. I will probably also get a 14 inch at some point this summer just to get smaller areas like behind the kennel and playscape.
Here is my mower:
Obviously this is a patch that doesn’t need mowing!
It is kind of hard to tell from the photo but the right hand side has been mowed with the reel mower and the left hand side still needs to be done.