Creative Ways to Cut Grass Without a Lawnmower
It’s a nightmare situation but an all too common one: your lawnmower stops working and your yard resembles a jungle. Unfortunately, a lawnmower is the most standard way to cut your lawn as it does the job fairly quickly and efficiently.
Believe it or not, though, there are some who are opting to not use these gas or electric lawnmowers, mostly due to storage requirements. There are also environmental concerns about using these mowers that lead some to look for alternative methods.
And, yes, there are other methods out there that one could use to cut the grass that do not involve a mower of any kind. But how do you cut the grass without a lawnmower?
Here are a few suggestions that might seem a bit crazy but could work out just as well.
– String Trimmer
One of the major setbacks of a lawnmower is its size. Unfortunately, we don’t all have the necessary space to store one and getting to it can be a hassle. And there is also the matter of emptying the bag. Those can be messy, leaving everything it touches green after cutting the grass.
This is where an electric trimmer can come in hand. They are relatively thin and tall so storing one is far easier than it is to store a lawnmower. And, best of all, the vast majority of string trimmers now come with a cordless, battery-powered option for ease of handling.
Even if you have an electric drop cord, it still might be easier to use than a lawnmower. The key here is to ensure that you have an extension cord long enough to cover the length of the yard; it can be a huge pain to have to unplug and replug whenever you run out of cord.
The key to trimming your grass is to ensure that it is completely dry. If it has rained, avoid cutting the grass until it has dried out. The same goes with that morning dew that is all too common. If the grass is wet, it will result in a clumpy and uneven cut. Avoid moisture if at all possible.
The next step is to make sure that you have your extension cord set up to the distance that you need. Sometimes you have to use what you have available but you can make things more convenient.
Having an extension cord can make things far easier and allow you to get the job done without having to relocate the plug.
When you begin, your stance and grip is important. Find the technique that is most comfortable for you so that you can get an even cut throughout. Start out by just making contact with the head of the trimmer to the grass and make a few side-to-side motions.
When you feel comfortable with your stride, you can move throughout the grass (or weeds), covering larger areas as you go.
There are two downsides to this method. The first is that it still takes longer than a lawnmower. The area that you’re covering with each swipe is not nearly as large as the area covered by a lawnmower so it will likely take you longer to get the job done.
The second is that your grass clippings will shoot any which way. Even though it’s a hassle to empty a mower bag, at least the grass goes into one place. When you use a trimmer, it kicks the grass everywhere, making it a lengthier cleanup for you.
Of course, there are some out there who want to veer away from using anything electric or battery-powered, opting to go old school and do the job by hand. And one of those “by hand” methods involves the use of a scythe.
This is in a similar vein as the string trimmer or “weed whacker”, only a little bit different. A hedge trimmer looks somewhat similar to a chainsaw and is meant to help you cut down large swaths of bushes and shrubbery.
Still, it can actually be quite an effective method for cutting your grass. As with the trimmer itself, it takes a bit of practice to ensure that your cut is where you want it to be. Swinging wildly just to get the grass cut is fine and well but you likely won’t get anything resembling an even cut.
Safety is of the utmost importance here as well. There have been far too many horror stories of people cutting willy-nilly only to find that they have sliced through an extension cord or worse. Be mindful of your surroundings and keep anything and everything out of the way of the hedge trimmer.
The best part about this is that you can cut the grass and trim the bushes and shrubs with one fell swoop. There will be no more switching out tools to get the job done when you can just use the hedge trimmers to get it all done.
Of course, if you want to get really crazy, you could always…
– Use Goats
Believe it or not, there are some people out there who don’t do their own lawn mowing. No, they use the help of a friendly farm animal instead. That’s right, there are people out there who let goats do the job for them.
This generally isn’t seen outside of rural areas — think of the looks from your neighbors if you tied a goat out front and let it go to work — but it can be an effective method with a little bit of patience and a lot of goats.
In farm areas in particular, property owners will make use of these herbivores to cut down on the shrubbery around a given area. Granted, they aren’t meant to cut down on huge swaths of grass for you but they can do a pretty nifty job around their pen or near a barn.
These are just a few ways that you can find an alternate path towards mowing your lawn. Having a lawnmower certainly provides a more convenient method of doing things but storage and environmental concerns can be too much for some to ignore.
With most of the methods listed above, the key is patience and safety. Take your time, make certain that you are using the tool properly, and carve out an even path wherever possible. This will help you to keep the grass looking straight and even without having to worry about powering a huge, noisy mower that takes up tons of space.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
Get A Better Mower
Don’t opt for the cheapest mower at the beginning of the game. Instead, at least spend enough cash to get a decent mower to start off the game with. In the beginning, the only expenses players will have are for maintenance. All of the other stuff can wait until after people have completed a few jobs.
Additionally, keep in mind that the first lawns will be smaller, which means that large mowers will be tough to maneuver in these areas. Gamers should choose a mover that is small enough to make three point turns, and big enough to efficiently mow. Balance these considerations when upgrading the mower early in the game.
While the game is a simulation, there are a few things that differ from reality (as with all games of this type). The first is that it does not matter what direction or method is used. Mowing back and forth will not produce the roller lines that appear on sport fields or golf courses. Stick to a method that works for you.
The easiest way to mow is to start on the outside of the lawn and work around the edges, going clockwise. Continue mowing in circles, making sure to leave a little bit of overlap under the right wheels of the mower. Repeat the clockwise route until all the grass is gone.
This is by far the most efficient way to get around a lawn, and ensuring slight overlap will save gamers from having to double back and fix exposed tufts of grass. Apart from that simple strategy, follow the tips below to get started.
There are several penalties that players can incur for not mowing properly, or for damaging anything on the property. The common ways in which a player will be penalized are listed below:
- Destroying plants or flower beds
- Hitting obstacles with the mower
- Damaging the ground by turning too quickly
- Cutting at the wrong height
Avoiding each of these penalties will make sure that gamers get more cash for each job. Most of them are self explanatory and relatively easy to avoid. The only tricky one is turning the mower without damaging the ground. Slow, rounded turns are much less likely to cause damage when mowing.
Additionally, make sure to keep the blades up while returning to the trailer. Maintenance of mowers can get expensive if something hits the blades that isn’t supposed to.
Cut Height And Long Grass
Long grass is harder to mow and will thus put more stress on the mower. The longer the grass, the slower the mower needs to go. Players that travel too fast while going through thick areas of a lawn will overheat the mower. This can result in high maintenance fees, and it will also take a second or so off the mowing time. Time bonuses are huge in Lawn Simulator, so players will want to avoid jamming up the equipment.
Look to the bottom right of the screen to make sure the engine is not starting to overheat. To make the job easier, mow to the highest allowable cut length when the grass is longer. This will reduce stress on the engine and save time when mowing.
Some jobs will require mulchers, making it important to have a mulcher or collector for different jobs. Likewise, the contract screen specifies the recommended deck width too. Once players save up a few thousand dollars, upgrading the mower and getting a garage will help scale up operations. expensive mowers can mow faster, and most of them can handle longer and more difficult cuts, making them well worth the investment.
Don’t mow all of your lawn
Choose the part you’d like to be neat and tidy but then let the rest stay a little messy. This is much better for wildlife and will encourage habitats to flourish throughout summer. You could even plant some wildflower seeds here and make it a real visual feature of your garden (Cornfield seed collection, BUY NOW).
“Don’t mow all of your lawn. Find a corner of your garden where you can allow it to become, dare I say it, a little bit unkempt,” implored Chris Packham during an interview with Country Living about spring gardening. “That long grass will provide food for butterflies and other invertebrates and shelter for other animals – maybe even something as exciting as a hedgehog.”
Cut fortnightly in spring
According to the RHS, you should mow your lawn once a fortnight or once in a week in spring. While growth is good, regular cutting will help to keep your lawn neat and in good condition. Regular mowing helps to eliminate weeds and encourage a denser ground.
Consider a mow path
In the spirit of helping wildlife, do you need a whole area to be mown or could a pathway leading through your wildflowers be enough? Remember that a rich garden ecosystem can keep pests under control naturally.
After months of being starved of sunshine, your garden may look a little neglected. It’s important, before your first grass cut of the year, to take time to clear any mess around the area you wish to mow, including dead sticks, leaves and any rubbish that may have gathered.
Check to see what is hiding in the garden; the likes of stones and thick branches may have made their way into the overgrown lawn and if the lawnmower catches these, it can damage the mower blade. Keeping the mower blade sharp is vital as the damage a dull blade can cause could be detrimental to the grass.
Don’t get rid of what you’ve collected. Add it to your wilder are as natural debris makes great habitats for wildlife.
Check for nesting animals
Check the area you are about to mow for any animals that might have made it their home during winter. Hedgehogs can often be found in piles of grass and leaves. If you do find a habitat, consider mowing a different part of the lawn instead and leaving it be.
The Woodland Trust say: “Climate change is not only influencing our mowing regimes, it’s increasing the pressure on our wildlife too and more species are looking to our gardens for food and shelter. These mini wildlife reserves can become precious habitats for them to thrive.”
Don’t leave it too late
Although the difference in climate can vary depending on where you are in the country, research has shown that the first two weeks in April are the most popular time to dig the lawnmower out for the first grass cut of the year.
Use the one third rule
When mowing your lawn for the first time, you should always follow the one third rule: Never cut more than a third of the blade of grass off in one go. Cutting more than this can stress the grass.
You should gradually reduce the grass length over a number of weeks to reach the desired length. Cutting the grass too short, too fast, is known as ‘scalping’ which can lead to disease and weed infestation.
Flymo explain: “If your lawn has been a little unkempt throughout the colder months and has grown with a mind of its own then fear not, still follow the one third rule but take it in stages over a number of weeks. Gradually decrease the cutting height on your lawnmower each time to reach your preferred grass length.”
And if your grass is really out of control?
If your lawn has been a little unkempt throughout the colder months and has grown with a mind of its own then fear not, still follow the one third rule but take it in stages over a number of weeks. Gradually decrease the cutting height on your lawnmower each time to reach your preferred grass length.
But only apply this to the smaller area you’d like to maintain, as mentioned above. Embrace the wildness in the rest of the lawn and allow it to flourish.
Contour your garden
Don’t forget about the edges when cutting your lawn for the first time. Overgrown edges can look unsightly and can mean time and effort spent working in the garden has been in vain. Trim the edges straight after mowing.
Easy to Drive
Without a steering wheel, a zero turn machine may look intimidating to drive but most operators become comfortable with the way it handles after just a few times using the equipment. Steering a zero turn mower is easy. In fact, it is not that different from steering a shopping cart. The key to driving in a straight line is to assure that the same amount of pressure is applied to each lever.
Most zero turn mowers do not have a foot-pedal brake. The steering handles of a zero turn mower control both the direction and the speed of the machine. As you push the handles forward, the speed of the mower will increase. So when you want to slow down or stop, you simply bring the handles back to neutral in their original position. Zero turn mowers are equipped with a parking/emergency brake.
How do zero turn mowers handle on slopes?
It is not recommended to operate a zero turn mower on slopes over 10 degrees. (As a reference point, most roads do not have slopes greater than 10 degrees. A 20 degree slope would be difficult even to stand on). Because zero turn mowers steer by traction of the rear wheels, a loss of traction could also reduce your ability to stop. When operating on slopes, a zero turn mower will not steer if you are sliding or skidding. There is no power to the front wheels of a zero-turn mower.
Zero turn mowers typically will cost more than a traditional lawn tractor. Part of the additional cost is due to the fact that there are two hydrostatic transmissions in a zero turn mower instead of one in a lawn tractor. Zero turn mowers usually have larger engines, larger decks, stronger frames and, overall, more steel in their construction compared to lawn tractors.
Although they may cost more, there are some long-term cost savings associated with zero turn mowers that are often overlooked. Because zero turn mowers can cut your mowing time in half, less gas is required to cut your lawn. Shorter run times also means less wear and tear on belts and pulleys resulting in longer machine life.
If your old lawn tractor is scheduled for an overhaul, now may be the time to invest in zero turn technology to help you maximize your lawn maintenance budget.
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How to Mow Your Lawn
Mowing is one of the most important factors in maintaining a healthy lawn. Cut it TALL and let the grass clippings FALL.
Mowing is one of the most important factors in maintaining a healthy lawn. Do you want a beautiful landscape? Of course! Start with a healthy lawn. One of the most important factors in growing a healthy lawn is to mow it properly. Here’s how:
Cut your lawn tall. A tall turf will:
shade the soil and protect it from summer’s heat;.- develop a deep root system; and.- reduce weed populations since the tall grass blades shade out and smother emerging weed seedlings.
Cut your lawn between 2.5 and 3.5 inches. Tall heights are especially beneficial during summer and for low-maintenance conditions. The first lawns that turn yellow in summer are the lawns that are cut too short.
Follow the “one-third rule.” Avoid removing more than one-third of the grass blade at any time. Cutting too much of the grass will slow its regrowth. It will expose the soil more, which leads to drought stress and the establishment of more weeds. Using this “one-third rule” as a guide, if you kept your lawn at 3 inches, you would cut it when it is no more than 4.5 inches tall.
Thus, the timing for mowing your lawn is dependent on its growth. You may need to mow every 5 days in spring, but every 5 weeks in summer.
Dull mower blades shred the grass tips. This leads to water loss and greater susceptibility to disease.
Mow frequently when the turf is actively growing. Clumps smother the lawn and contribute to thatch.
Let the grass clippings fall. You don’t need to collect clippings. Your lawn wants those clippings. The clippings will shade the soil and conserve moisture. The clippings will recycle nutrients to the soil—it is like getting a free fertilization every year.
If you mow regularly, clippings will not create a thatch problem. Clippings are mainly water and they will quickly decompose.
The exception is when your lawn gets neglected and grows very tall. Excessively tall grass when mowed can gather in clumps on the lawn (see photo). This can smother the turf. Tall blades can get more fibrous and become slower to decompose—this can lead to an accumulation of thatch. In these cases, it is wise to collect these clippings.
Mow when grass is dry. This will reduce clumping and help to mulch the grass blades finer.
Use a sharp mower blade. A sharp blade will make a clean cut. Dull blades will tear the tips of leaf blades (see photo). The damaged leaf blades will develop a brown tip. Frayed blades lose water more quickly and become more susceptible to diseases. Depending on how much turf you cut, you may need to sharpen or replace your blade every year.
Written by Tom Kalb, Extension Horticulturist, North Dakota State University.
The RIGHT Way to Mow
Mowing the lawn sounds like a brainless enough thing.
You just gas up, yank the cord, walk (or ride) around in rectangles for awhile, and the deed is done.
As true lawn connoisseurs will tell you, there’s more to it than that.
How you mow, when you mow and even what you do with the clippings make a huge difference in how your lawn performs.
In fact, I’d venture to say that mowing is the most underrated and overlooked part of good lawn care. This is something we do 25 to 30 times a season, so it’d be nice to get it right.
The Problem: People cut too short. Some downright scalp the lawn, using golf putting greens as their ideal.
Why That’s Bad: Scalping increases moisture and nutrition demands as the grass tries to fight back from near decapitation. It means less chlorophyll, which grass needs as a fuel source to rebuild. It allows the soil to dry out faster (bad news in drought). And weeds germinate better and get off to a faster start when taller grass blades aren’t in the way.
A Better Idea: Cut 2½ to 3 inches high – typically the highest setting on mowers. What makes a mown lawn look good is the evenness of the cut – not its height. Most people are just as happy with a 3-inch-tall evenly cut lawn as a 1-inch-tall evenly cut lawn.
The belief that cutting short lengthens the time between cuts doesn’t hold up, by the way. Grass actually grows faster after it’s been cut short as it tries to rebuild itself to its genetic norm.
Two exceptions to the cut-high rule: Before you overseed a lawn and toward the end of the season when it makes sense to cut shorter to head off moisture-related winter fungal problems such as snow mold.
The Problem: People don’t cut often enough. The grass gets too long and so they end up whacking off long pieces that throw out clumps everywhere or create a bagging nightmare.
Why That’s Bad: Besides those aesthetic and labor-related issues, radical whackbacks are more stressful on grass than lighter cuts and require more energy to heal. If you don’t remove the clumps of cut grass, they’ll smother the living grass underneath. (Dump these clumps in the compost pile or let ’em dry for a few days and use as mulch in garden beds.)
A Better Idea: Mow often enough so you’re never removing more than one-third of the blade length at a time (i.e. time to cut when the height gets to 4 inches, not 5 or 6). This may mean mowing twice a week or every four or five days when grass is growing fastest in mid-spring.
The Problem: People bag their grass clippings and set them out with the trash.
Why That’s Bad: Not only are you unnecessarily adding to the trash stream, you’re wasting a super source of nutrients for the lawn. Those clips are filled with nitrogen, minerals and important trace nutrients that the roots have mined from the soil, and you’re going to pay to toss them, then turn around and buy new fertilizer? Makes no sense to me.
A Better Idea: First, if you mow often enough, you’ll get tiny clips that quickly disappear into the lawn, especially if you’re using a mulching mower. Turfgrass researchers at Penn State University estimate that letting the clippings decay in place supply about one-third of a lawn’s total nitrogen needs for the season, which means you can save yourself one fertilizer treatment a year.
The thatch layer of a lawn. Grass clippings aren’t a key component of excess layers.
Also: Decaying clippings add organic matter to the soil. Clippings are not a significant cause of thatch in the lawn. (Thatch is the spongy layer between the soil and grass blades and is primarily dead roots and dead grass crowns.) If you’re concerned about tracking grass clips into the house, consider that it may be easier to just get out the vacuum cleaner than lug those grass-clipping bags around.
The Problem: People hardly ever sharpen their mower blades. Instead of making clean, sharp cuts, the mower ends up bludgeoning or ripping off the grass tips.
Why That’s Bad: Rough, ragged cuts don’t heal as well as clean, sharp cuts, and that increases the odds of disease. Ragged cuts also result in bigger tip openings that turn brown and stand out more than sharp cuts (i.e. it looks bad). Even worse, those bigger openings cause the grass to lose more moisture, which increases drought stress in hot weather.
A Better Idea: Yeah, yeah. I know you’ve got better things to do than remember to remove and sharpen your mower blades once every 25 mowing hours (or more) like the manuals tell you. At least shoot for two or three times a season. Some people own two different mower blades so they always have one for the mower while the other is being sharpened. A bench grinder and/or a metal file let you sharpen at home.
Bonus point: Reel mowers – those old-fashioned bladed drums that go around and snip off grass blades like scissors – are excellent. But rotary mowers are perfectly fine, too – if the blades are kept sharp.
tips to help you become an accomplished mower instead of a lawn butcher:
1.) If you fall behind, say after a vacation or rainy spell, get back to the desired height by removing one-third of the blade height in two cuttings a few days apart rather than taking it the whole way down in one fell swoop.
2.) To limit raking if you’re getting noticeable clips or clumps, mow around the perimeter of the yard, always shooting the clips inward. You’ll end up having to rake only one or two channels in the middle.
3.) Avoid cutting the grass when it’s wet. The clippings are more likely to mat and/or clog your mower; it’s harder to get an even cut (mower wheels flatten grass blades), and you may even compact the soil by walking or riding over it.
4.) Avoid mowing when the lawn is going brown and dormant in a drought – even if you’re mainly doing it to mow off weeds. Grass crowns become brittle in drought, and if you smash them with your feet or mower wheels, they may not recover.