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Old 02-26-2008, 07:57 AM
 
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Can anyone recommend a good type or brand of lawnmower? I moved house recently and left my very old Honda gas mower behind for the new tenants...

I have only ever had a fairly rough orchard type lawn before, lots of tough grass, clover etc. In my new home I have just planted a lawn using mixed seed brand 'for shade' and the grass has come up well but looks quite fine and delicate.

I want a mower which will pick up and mulch the clippings plus any fallen leaves (as we have several live oaks which drop leaves year-round) but one which won't destroy this rather dainty grass!

It's not a very big lawn so electric is possible, but would prefer a gas-powered.

Also, any ideas for a grass seed type, to keep adding to the new lawn, which which is tougher, and might last the summer?

I'm in central Texas. Thanks!!
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Best Lawnmowers of 2007
Best Lawnmowers of 2007 - New Walk-Behind Mower Comparison Test - Popular Mechanics

I don't like self-propelled mowers, so I use a Husqvarna (Honda engine) mulching push mower. When you say "pick up and mulch", do you mean 'bag' or do you mean 'mulch' - a mulching mower leaves the clippings.

More than likely, the 'shady' grass mix is a fescue blend - a cool season grass that struggles during the hot TX summer.

Last edited by Reactionary; 02-26-2008 at 09:47 AM..
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reactionary View Post
Best Lawnmowers of 2007 - New Walk-Behind Mower Comparison Test - Popular Mechanics

I don't like self-propelled mowers, so I use a Husqvarna (Honda engine) mulching push mower. When you say "pick up and mulch", do you mean 'bag' or do you mean 'mulch' - a mulching mower leaves the clippings.

More than likely, the 'shady' grass mix is a fescue blend - a cool season grass that struggles during the hot TX summer.
Thanks for link, will do some reading!

I mean cut and suck up and collect the mulch - into a bag

My honda would cut and suck everything into a kind of bag/basket on the back, all chopped into tiny bits ready to compost. You could also go over piles of swept-up leaves with it to vaccuum them up and turn them into mulch! Great stuff

Last edited by southdown; 02-26-2008 at 10:28 AM..
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:42 AM
 
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I let the mower mulch the clippings into bits and leave it on the lawn (it's a natural fertilizer and the grass will also need less water) - of course that means mowing before the grass gets too tall and results in clumps of clippings. I do the same in the fall after the leaves drop - mow the leaves to mulch the lawn.

Quote:
Here is some advice from Purdue University Extension that will help you with fall leaf disposal:

“As the trees drop their leaves, it is important to prevent a heavy layer of leaves from building up on your turf before winter. Heavy layers of tree leaves that shade the grass can smother and kill grass...”

“The easiest way to dispose of leaves is to simply mow them into the turf. Regular mowing during the fall will chop the leaves into small pieces and allow them to filter into the turf.

“Research at Purdue and other universities shows that tree leaves can be mulched without any detrimental effects on the soil or turf. Actually, just the opposite may be true where tree leaf mulching may help improve the soil.”
JG-TC.com > Features > YARD AND GARDEN: Fall is here, but don't store that lawn mower just yet (http://www.jg-tc.com/articles/2007/11/17/features/doc473e5c1b75e0f213371771.txt - broken link)

Some of my neighbors bag their clippings and curb them (the city has a waste-to-steam power plant) - I snag the best of those (from weed-free lawns with the same kind of grass I have) for my compost.

Good for you planning to compost your clippings Note that composting usually doesn't kill weed seeds (but neither does mulching into the lawn).

Grass doesn't do well under trees (not just because of shade but the trees drink all the water). You might consider planting some 'gardens' in your shady areas. Look for shade loving drought tolerant groundcovers and perennials.
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Reactionary View Post
I let the mower mulch the clippings into bits and leave it on the lawn (it's a natural fertilizer and the grass will also need less water) - of course that means mowing before the grass gets too tall and results in clumps of clippings. I do the same in the fall after the leaves drop - mow the leaves to mulch the lawn.



JG-TC.com > Features > YARD AND GARDEN: Fall is here, but don't store that lawn mower just yet (http://www.jg-tc.com/articles/2007/11/17/features/doc473e5c1b75e0f213371771.txt - broken link)

Some of my neighbors bag their clippings and curb them (the city has a waste-to-steam power plant) - I snag the best of those (from weed-free lawns with the same kind of grass I have) for my compost.

Good for you planning to compost your clippings Note that composting usually doesn't kill weed seeds (but neither does mulching into the lawn).

Grass doesn't do well under trees (not just because of shade but the trees drink all the water). You might consider planting some 'gardens' in your shady areas. Look for shade loving drought tolerant groundcovers and perennials.
Thank you for all your tips!

I am renting for a year or so, so won't be putting too much money into my landlord's garden! Which is why I planted a quick-fix lawn (it was bare dirt when we moved in).

The grass looks too fine and puny to leave the mulch on, I agree it can be good for established lawns tho and I plan to add more seed to the bare patches!

Do you know of a cheap, quick-growing way (by seed?) to plant shade-loving ground cover for this area, (central Texas, good soil but shady, not too big an area so can water a bit)...

thanks!!
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Old 02-26-2008, 11:51 AM
 
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I've owned a John Deere for years. Best mower I've ever had. Bag is between the handles and picks up great. Self-propelled - long story, but my mowers always are.

I empty the gas every winter, store it in an outside storage shed, bring it out in the spring, fill it up, push the primer three times, pull the cord and it starts on the first pull. It always starts on the first pull.

My next mower will be a Deere.
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Old 02-26-2008, 01:41 PM
 
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Honda without a doubt. Be sure it is one of those from a honda dealer not the harmony as they are quite different.My last one lasted over 20 years and only replaced one cable.I didn't take the best of care except change oil and sevral plugs. Because of compression release it starts will two finger pull everytime.
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:02 PM
 
Location: WA
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I buy the cheapest (on sale) big wheel mower at sears. Mulch with it most of the year and only use the bag when there is heavy leaf cover. Change the oil and sharpen the blade once a year and it does great. It starts every time, mows well, and is as effective as mowers that cost more than three times as much.
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Old 02-27-2008, 07:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cdelena View Post
I buy the cheapest (on sale) big wheel mower at sears. Mulch with it most of the year and only use the bag when there is heavy leaf cover. Change the oil and sharpen the blade once a year and it does great. It starts every time, mows well, and is as effective as mowers that cost more than three times as much.
Thanks for that!

Do you think it's ok to mulch onto a very new lawn (started coming up about 3 weeks ago) or better to pick up the cuttings for a few weeks (months?) yet?
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Old 02-27-2008, 10:29 AM
 
Location: WA
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Originally Posted by southdown View Post
Thanks for that!

Do you think it's ok to mulch onto a very new lawn (started coming up about 3 weeks ago) or better to pick up the cuttings for a few weeks (months?) yet?
I would mulch... unless there is heavy growth or cover that would leave a covering on the lawn mulching is fine.
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