Mowing the lawn

I used to use local high school kids to mow the lawn, a pair of brothers. They graduated and moved on. I then signed on with a service, the same service that in the winter plows my driveway, which around here is a big deal, particularly given that I don’t own a snowblower. Those guys come in with a wide mower where a guy stands on a platform and does my lawn in maybe a little over five minutes.

But now I’m trying to save money. COVID took almost all the money out of my business and our central air conditioning compressor went kaput, meaning replacing it. And, given that the heating is equally old, it’s easier and cheaper to do at once, so I’ve got a big expense while my income is way down. So I’m trying to mow my own lawn.

The lawn is pictured. My back yard is tiny and more weeds and moss than grass, so I don’t need to mow that. It’s what’s in the picture plus the side of the garage.

I have two mowers. One is a 1982 Lawn Boy where you need to mix oil in the gasoline. It is not self propelled. I’m not sure if it would work at the moment. Also, its emissions could probably raise New York State’s average temp by two degrees. The other, pictured here, and what I used, is a Fiskars. If you don’t remember where you’ve heard that name, if you have a pair of orange handheld scissors that name is probably on them. There’s one thing it doesn’t have: a motor. This is a manual mower.

It works quite well, though it has two drawbacks. One is that if weeds get too tall it runs them ver and they spring back up. The other has to do with how it ejects grass: forward. If the grass is too thick and especially too long, the grass you throw back in your path makes it very rough going. The first time I tried it was a hot day and I had to take breaks every few minutes. Yesterday and today I did it again, in cooler weather and shorter grass, so I only needed a few breaks.

Aside from no pollution, there’s another advantage: hardly any noise. If it’s hot and I want to mow at seven in the morning, I won’t wake the neighbors.

There is yet another advantage, at least initially: they’re way cheaper than power mowers.

The question is whether I can mow often enough to make this feasible. It’s decent exercise.

Some of us are old enough to remember manual mowers. Some aren’t. The truth is that if the grass isn’t too long it’s not much harder to push than a power mower if at all.



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