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 Post subject: basic lawn care for beginners- reel/electric mower?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 5:23 pm 
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Making Threats to Punks Again
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my husband and i have been married for almost 12 years and we are about to buy a lawn mower for the first time. we haven't ever had a lawn that had to be taken care of (last year, we lived in a farm house and about every six weeks or so, my husband would borrow a tractor and cut paths through the priaire lawn). but last fall, we moved to town, and we have a small yard, with lots of trees- in fact we will be putting grass seed down as well as a few small raised beds.

We are looking at getting a reel or cordless electric mower (budget is ab $250), and i was wondering about your experiences- do you have any?
Could we mow up leaves in the fall with any of these? if not, can you recommend a quick efficient method for dealing with leaves- including tools. i will prob be doing this- our yard is full of drifts of leaves that are left from last fall. I have a toddler, and no tools, i tried using a borrowed rake, my hands and a bag- major fail.


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 Post subject: Re: basic lawn care for beginners- reel/electric mower?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 5:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:17 pm
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I have a reel mower. It works best if the grass is cut before it is too long. Once too long, it just goes through the blades and isn't cut.

I had a ton of leaves this fall and used a rake. Our city picks them up curbside twice a year unbagged, so I raked them all down to the curb. It took many hours. The reel mower I have wouldn't do jack with as many leaves as I had. They pick up bagged leaves once a month and I would have bagged them up if that was the only option.

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 Post subject: Re: basic lawn care for beginners- reel/electric mower?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:59 pm 
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ugh, we have to bag and haul our own leaves to the city mulch pile. i am advocating for this battery mower http://www.peoplepoweredmachines.com/worx/wg783.html, i'd be happy to do a reel mower in the summer, but we get so many leaves- we have a tiny yard, but its on a corner and both of our borders with neighbors have retaining walls, so all the local leaves collect in our yard.


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 Post subject: Re: basic lawn care for beginners- reel/electric mower?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:41 pm 
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We have a reel mower and lots of trees. You definitely can't mulch with it. We compost all the leaves in our backyard.

I do all the raking, and it's not bad. I did it in shifts, half an hour a day when I got home from work because that's all the light there was. I use a bucket to get the leaves from the ground to the bags or compost piles, though I want to get a wheel barrow eventually. Gardening gloves really help.

The other thing with a reel mower and trees is that tree branches get stuck in the mower pretty easily. So you have to be good about picking those up off the lawn, or you'll have to stop every couple of feet to extricate one.


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 Post subject: Re: basic lawn care for beginners- reel/electric mower?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:52 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:04 am
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I have this reel mower and like it a lot. But I have a very small lawn, and no trees so I can't help you with the leaf problem. Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: basic lawn care for beginners- reel/electric mower?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:24 am 
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We used to have an electric lawn mower and now have the reel type. As long as you don't let the grass get too long in between mowings it is no more effort to use than the electric one. Also, no power cord to get tangled up/ not reach/ whatever and no electric costs!

Leaves do have to be raked up before you mow. We get lots in the autumn because there's a wooded patch backing onto out garden. We rake them into piles then carry them to the compost heap. My mum recently got some plastic paddle things that she calls bear claws, which act as though you have bigger hands to pick the leaves up. Or get a square of tarpaulin and transfer the leaves to it by putting your foot on one side of the pile and rake on the other, squeeze foot against rake, lift, then dump leaves onto tarpaulin. Then just gather up the corners of the tarpaulin and carry or drag it to the compost heap- you can carry huge amounts of leaves or weeds this way.
That wasn't explained very well, was it. Sorry.


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 Post subject: Re: basic lawn care for beginners- reel/electric mower?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:08 pm 
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green Duck, that sounds clear to me, i'll look into those paddle things, i saw them last year and wondered if they were worth it! we have a small compost pile in the yard and we found out just yesterday that we can burn leaves, but i'm not too keen on that. it looks like we will go for a straight reel mower, our yard is super small and i'll hopefully put my toddler on my back and mow in the mornings. the leaves will be trickier- the yard is small and my son's a runner, but maybe by the fall, he'll be more likely to stay inth e yard (or yardlet, as i think of it)?


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 Post subject: Re: basic lawn care for beginners- reel/electric mower?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:59 pm 
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Reviving this to find out if anyone else has experience with electric mowers? My front yard is medium sized with no trees but the back is all oak treed up, but luckily only a little grass there for now. In the event that it starts growing I would like for something strong enough to tackle it, but I've never used an electric push mower. Most people around here have riding gas mowers so I've never even seen one in use.

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 Post subject: Re: basic lawn care for beginners- reel/electric mower?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:06 am 
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Corded electric mowers feel pretty strong to me. Not sure exactly what kind of power you'd need but I can't imagine needing more than with a corded electric one.

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 Post subject: Re: basic lawn care for beginners- reel/electric mower?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:40 am 
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I've used a corded electric mower extensively. Be prepared to mow every weekend, because they're not particularly powerful, and if the grass gets too high, you end up having to mow over the clippings a couple times to get through thick spots. It was a lot of "go forward till the blades stop, back it up a couple feet, go forward again, repeat", which was not something I'd do often with a gas mower. They require a lot less maintenance since there's no combustion engine to keep lubricated and fueled, and mine never broke before I replaced it so I can't speak about repair cost.


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 Post subject: Re: basic lawn care for beginners- reel/electric mower?
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 1:32 pm 
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We have a corded electric mower. It's powerful, gets the job done in my tiny yard in about 5 minutes.

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 Post subject: Re: basic lawn care for beginners- reel/electric mower?
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 2:47 pm 
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We have one too! It's this one. We only have a quarter acre but do have evil Texas weeds and we totally love it. For those with problems getting your mower to cut cleanly, getting your blade sharpened may help! We let ours get really dull at one point (I don't think the factory edge was as great as it could have been) and the difference after sharpening was like night and day.


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