How to Choose the Right Lawnmower

Close-up of push reel mower cutting grass.

While fertilizer, water and weed control will do wonders for growing a lush lawn, proper mowing will improve the vitality and appearance even more. Because mowing helps reduce weeds, and improve the unity and texture of your lawn, proper mowing techniques will strengthen the grass, helping your lawn to help itself. But before you go rushing off to buy a new mower, it is important to do your research on the best mower for your lawn.)

There are many things to take into consideration when you go to look into purchasing a new lawnmower. Anyone who has ever fought with a stubborn mower will tell you that not only is it important to take into account such things as power, cost, and safety features, but you also want to consider the weight of the mower, how difficult or easy it is to start, and the tool's handling and maneuverability.

TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Susan Patterson adds, "Buying a used mower will save you money but be sure that it is in good working condition."

Push Reel Lawnmowers

These are ideal for those who have a very small yard and who seek an environmentally friendly mower. Cutting with a scissor-like action, push reel mowers work with rotating blades which move over a single stationary blade. While they are easy on the wallet and easy on the ozone layer, they can be problematic if you have a large lawn, lots of hills, rocky soil or a bad back.

Gas or Electric Rotary Motor

If your lawn is comprised of bluegrass, fescue or another grass that does better when cut longer than 2 inches in length, a gas or electric-powered rotary motor is the best bet for your needs. Cutting with a circular blade that rotates beneath a protective housing, these mowers work well on a larger standard lawn. If you have a large lawn or a lot of hilly areas, the best thing to do is invest a little extra and purchase a self-propelled mower--your arms, legs, and back will thank you in the long run.

TIP: Susan advises, "Check your mower oil and filter regularly and replace as needed."

Mulching Mowers

For years, mowing the lawn meant not only cutting the grass, but also spending a good portion of your time raking and disposing of the cuttings. Fortunately, this has become a thing of the past--many modern mowers have attachable bags or, even better, you may wish to invest in a mulching mower. Mulching mowers not only eliminate the need for raking and disposing of lawn waste, but also fertilize the lawn by adding valuable nutrients when clippings are cut up so fine that they are absorbed back into the lawn.

Gas-Powered Reel Mower

For those with large lawns, with grass that is best kept at lengths of 2 inches or less, a gas-powered reel mower is ideal. This works well on grasses such as Bermuda or any kind of bent grass or can also be beneficial in cases where lawns are cut in decorative patterns. Again, if dealing with a lot of trees, flowerbeds or hills, you may wish to invest in a self-propelled mower, to save having to strong-arm your mower around difficult-to-cut areas.

TIP: Susan recommends, "Keep your mower clean by spraying it off after each mow. Be sure to spray out grass that has gathered on the blade."

Taking the additional time to shop for the right lawnmower will pay off in the end, resulting in a lush and gorgeous lawn. Whatever your lawn consists of, there is a mower that will work well for the job. Take the time and find the perfect one--you’ll be glad you did.

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