When it comes to buying a lawnmower for grass-cutting, the range of available machines is somewhat bewildering. The final choice will depend largely on the area of grass that needs to be cut and to a great extent on the type of grasses in the lawn, e.g whether it is a short, fine ornamental type lawn or a slightly taller and more coarse general purpose lawn.
Small to medium size lawns can easily be tackled with an electric lawnmower, powered via a cable. Battery powered mowers, which can usually tackle an average size lawn in one charge, have the benefit of having no cables to get in the way. Larger lawns will require the use of a petrol driven mower and very large lawns, a petrol powered ride-on mower.
For general purpose and hard wearing lawns a rotary mower is a good choice for tackling both long and short grass equally well. Many rotary mowers also have grass collection facilities. For a finer and closer cut lawn, nothing can compare with a cylinder mower, and the more blades it has the better the cut.
For the average size lawn, a 12-17 inch cylinder model is adequate. For large areas the 14-18 inch machines will be necessary, and the ride-on machines will make light work of extensive areas. An 18 in. rotary mower will cope with quite large areas of lawn or rougher grass conditions.
Ease of starting and maintenance is an important feature and the mains electric and battery-operated mowers offer a distinct advantage over petrol driven mowers in this aspect. However, battery machines are usually heavy and can be quite difficult to negotiate over steps and edges.
You will find that care of the lawn is simplified by the use of rotary scarifiers. These are push-along models with a large revolving metal tined brush which remove lawn mosses and thatch, often sweeping the debris into a canvas or plastic collection bag.
If you have a large lawn then a fertilizer distributor is invaluable, helping quickly and evenly distribute lawn dressings. The machine is simply filled via a hopper and pushed up and down at walking pace, adjustable application rates are usually provided.