I mentioned in my last post that I had ordered a new gas-less reel mower and now that I’ve used it twice I’m happy to report that it works much better than I expected. We live out in the woods with 5 acres of mostly woodland and about 1/2 acre of grass. Of that 1/2 acre half is heavily shaded and the grass is very thin and is as much moss and wild flowers as grass. The other part of the lawn, is regular grass that gets plenty of sun. The reel mower handled it with ease and in about the same time it takes with a gas mower. It will tend to miss grass or weeds such as dandelions that have gotten too tall but if I cut every 5-6 days it won’t be a problem. Aside from the fact that it does not use gas the other two things I really like about it is its light weight and very quiet operation. I detest the sound of gas mowers almost as much as the carbon they spew into the atmosphere, this reel mower makes grass cutting an almost pleasant experience.
This was $120 very well spent.
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I’ve got a mower like that as well, but mine is older. the blades are in need of a terrible sharpening. we certainly don’t have the amount of land that you do and i can’t imagine mowing that amount of acreage. my arms get tired with just our backyard! they are a good workout eh?
if you’ve got that much land..why not get a goat?
(i’m actually asking as I always keep thinking that this is what should be done in big spaces but i think it must be unworkable…is that right??)
I’ve had mine for a few years, and enjoy it very much.
Aside from its aesthetic appeal (quiet-I use my 15 minutes of mow-time as a walking meditation usually) I also enjoy that fact that it’s easy to repair and clean myself, safe enough to be used by almost anyone of any age, light enough to lift easily, and of course I don’t ever have to worry about buying, storing and using gasoline.
As a person who is also violently allergic to grass, I find that it keeps those volatile grass oils and pollens closer to the ground and away from my face/lungs/eyes.
In terms of performance, you definitely won’t get the golf-course look, but it does work fairly well with most grass (frankly I like the more natural/subtle appearance of the grass–it looks less shorn with the reel mower, more like a gentle trim). The downside is that if you have a lot of weeds they usually just get temporarily knocked down.
To deal with this, I have a manual weed slasher (the flat kind and a sling blade model for denser brush) that I use to come get those guys later the next day.
Between these three manual powered tools, I can pretty much keep things looking respectable around here…and get a good workout about once a week in the bargain.
But honestly if it were up to me and I weren’t merely renting, I’d rip up all this useless grass and plant crops and native shade plants. This fall, I’m looking into getting some clover seed and secretly reseeding most of the grass with clover which will hopefully outcompete the grass and make life even simpler…clover rarely needs mowing as it doesn’t get much above 6 inches in height.