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Old 04-18-2015, 09:17 PM
 
Location: McKinleyville, California
6,413 posts, read 9,360,287 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayrandom View Post
Thanks for the advice so far.



There are some beds in front but gently sloped and almost uninterrupted in back. There will eventually be a swing set in the backyard. Trees in the front and on one side, otherwise trees lining the property.

I'd like something that will speed up lawn mowing and if there's something that can with leaves in the fall that would be great. I've got snow removal covered already, so I don't think there's a need for additional snow removal capabilities. There should be plenty of storage room for even a large mower, so that isn't a concern. And the last of the snow melted last Sunday (finally). Luckily there's plenty of sun on our lot, as some piles are still surviving I'm the shade elsewhere.



I guess the top of the budget would be what it would cost me to hire someone to do it instead of doing it myself. I naively though that the final amount would be about $2000, but would happily pay less if that's too much for my situation and would grudgingly pay more if it were a better long-term use of the money.

I'd like to minimize both the amount of time it takes me to mow and the amount I spend. I'm not sure where the sweet spot is, but I was hoping that there'd be something better than the three hours it took me with the 22 Inch lawnmower I already have and cheaper than a professional-grade super-mower.

There have been a few suggestions for riding mowers. Is that generally the right choice for this size lawn? Are there walk-behind mowers that give similar performance or are they generally smaller?
I would say the biggest factor is how durable your body is. I have done some of my 1 acre yards with both my riding mower and my walk behind push mower. It takes at least 3 times as many passes with the walk behind and it takes more out of your body, but it takes about the same amount of time. If I have to do leaves before mowing, I pass over the lawn with the blade on its highest cut to suck up the leaves, then repass to mow on a lower cut.
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Old 04-18-2015, 10:59 PM
 
25,627 posts, read 31,578,222 times
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I'd suggest trying to find a good used riding mower or large Pro walk behind for that budget. Something with at least a 36" deck. Check with all the local mower shops and places that do small engine repair. Now a days they are pretty much one in the same.

Craigslist, equipment trader, those magazines you see selling equipment in racks at the door of liquor stores and gas stations.

I'm constantly running into good machines for decent prices that just need a little TLC.
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Old 04-19-2015, 02:33 AM
eok
 
6,684 posts, read 3,357,323 times
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If I had a one-acre lawn, I would probably replace a lot of the grass with ground cover that never needed mowing. Only if you play games such as football on your lawn do you really need turf. Vinca minor has a reputation for being a good ground cover, and also has very nice flowers at this time of year. And why not plant some nice fruit trees to replace a lot of your lawn? What is grass really good for, other than sports such as football, golf, and mowing? But if you do insist on mowing an acre, it helps to arrange things to minimize obstacles. Wherever you have mulch or anything, make it meet the grass as a level surface, so the mower can run over part of the mulch harmlessly, and you don't need to trim any edges. Around trees, put mulch or ground cover, so you don't have to mow where the roots interefere with the mower. Etc. Just keep arranging stuff till the mower can do everything without any extra work such as trimming. But you should also trim your tree limbs before mowing, to make sure they aren't going to get in the way of your head while you're mowing.
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Old 04-19-2015, 06:18 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
16,014 posts, read 12,813,174 times
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You could get into one of the four wheel steering John Deer tractors for as low as $3800. I don't think you have to spend that much to fulfill your current needs. Lawn tractors, even with the leaf catchers, do a pretty good job with leaves. You simply keep mowing your clippings into the middle and re-mowing them. Most will mulch up and disappear into the soil. However, if you want to collect leaves for a compost pile; even that first tractor (the Lowe's link) showed a $300 dollar leaf bagging system you can buy for the tractor.

Garden carts are also very useful. For about $100 or a little more you can get a cart to haul topsoil or leaves or whatever. The carts and mower do less damage to your lawn than running over it with a pickup truck. But all of this is more equipment to store and I don't know how much space you have available. The cart could just remain outside - but you might not like the looks.
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Old 04-19-2015, 07:04 AM
 
343 posts, read 639,890 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtrader View Post
Here is what I use to cut our full acre of lawn, plus one swipe each way on our 500 ft. long lane to the house. A mulcher plate so you don't have to worry about the clippings is also great to use.

In addition add a blade, and you can clear the snow out of in our case is a 500 ft long lane, and about 1/8 acre parking area, etc., in front of the house.

Shop John Deere D130 V-Twin Hydrostatic 42-in Riding Lawn Mower with Briggs & Stratton Engine and Mulching Capable at Lowes.com
I have this same mower and love it. It is comfortable, cuts cleanly, is maneuverable, and with the twin stroke engine has plenty of power for mowing, towing a small cart, or a swow blade.
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Old 04-19-2015, 10:16 AM
 
Location: UpstateNY
8,612 posts, read 8,709,606 times
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Riding lawn mower--Snapper

Sears Craftsman 16.5 HP riding lawn tractor. 42" deck. *Free Delivery

Bolens Riding lawn mower 33"
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Westwood, MA
3,887 posts, read 4,981,774 times
Reputation: 4928
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDragonslayer View Post
I would say the biggest factor is how durable your body is. I have done some of my 1 acre yards with both my riding mower and my walk behind push mower. It takes at least 3 times as many passes with the walk behind and it takes more out of your body, but it takes about the same amount of time. If I have to do leaves before mowing, I pass over the lawn with the blade on its highest cut to suck up the leaves, then repass to mow on a lower cut.
Are lawn tractors 3 time slower than push mowers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
I'd suggest trying to find a good used riding mower or large Pro walk behind for that budget. Something with at least a 36" deck. Check with all the local mower shops and places that do small engine repair. Now a days they are pretty much one in the same.

Craigslist, equipment trader, those magazines you see selling equipment in racks at the door of liquor stores and gas stations.

I'm constantly running into good machines for decent prices that just need a little TLC.
I'd be happy to get a used mower, but I don't want to spend all the time I save fixing the thing. I'd classify myself as mechanically competent, but definitely not an expert. In other words I can use the Internet to fix stuff, but it usually takes me a while. Is it pretty easy to tell if something is in good running order/provide TLC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eok View Post
If I had a one-acre lawn, I would probably replace a lot of the grass with ground cover that never needed mowing. Only if you play games such as football on your lawn do you really need turf. Vinca minor has a reputation for being a good ground cover, and also has very nice flowers at this time of year. And why not plant some nice fruit trees to replace a lot of your lawn? What is grass really good for, other than sports such as football, golf, and mowing? But if you do insist on mowing an acre, it helps to arrange things to minimize obstacles. Wherever you have mulch or anything, make it meet the grass as a level surface, so the mower can run over part of the mulch harmlessly, and you don't need to trim any edges. Around trees, put mulch or ground cover, so you don't have to mow where the roots interefere with the mower. Etc. Just keep arranging stuff till the mower can do everything without any extra work such as trimming. But you should also trim your tree limbs before mowing, to make sure they aren't going to get in the way of your head while you're mowing.
Grass is good for kids playing in. Having been a kid I can confirm that this is not a myth. Having a kid myself now I can say that I want her outside playing when she gets old enough. Certainly some of the grass may become a vegetable garden some day, but much of it will remain grass.

And I find it pretty funny that you suggest fruit trees as a lower maintenance alternative to a lawn. Orchards are awesome and fruit trees have a lot of great benefits, but I don't associate them with low maintence. I definitely want some fruit trees in the future, though. I'm pretty sure my neighborhood was on orchard until the 70s when it turned into residential housing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddyterp View Post
I have this same mower and love it. It is comfortable, cuts cleanly, is maneuverable, and with the twin stroke engine has plenty of power for mowing, towing a small cart, or a swow blade.
.

I will take a look. Thanks.

Thanks. I'll keep checking CL.
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