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Forgot to mention...my previous home was on about a 1/3 acre...while most of my neighbors had someone do their lawns...I just could not see paying someone to mow. Like others have mentioned...I did enjoy the zen experience.
I mowed an acre of a terribly sloped lawn for 18 years. Couldn't use a ride mower. And I went thru 3 Sears self-propelled mowers, until I got a John Deere mower that had the right engine lubricating system. (The other engines just kept on burning up because when these mowers were tilted on my slope -- parts of the engine would not get lubricated.) However, all of the wheels on my mowers (big ones and small ones) generally had to be replaced every three years. When I first mowed this lawn it took it 6 hours. (Of course, I didn't know what I was doing since I had never mowed anything in my life.) I got the hang of things, and became very proficient at mowing the lawn in 2.5 hours; then my children got older and started to help me out, so with some help and two mowers operating at once, it took me around 1.5 hours.
When my last child left for school, the lawn became a real challenge again. And I was becoming very tired of my 18 plus hours of commuting to work every week. I hired a local service (someone I knew fairly well) to mow my lawn every other week. I would mow the other week. I think I got a dirt cheap service for $88 a pop -- most would charge $100. I moved closer to my job recently but still have this killer lawn and house and I'm paying $88 a pop for lawn care. I hope I can sell this house this year!
I transitioned into a condo -- it's great not having any real home maintenance issues after having a high maintenance house. But when I retire and relocate, I want a house with a manageable lawn -- I enjoyed the physical work out when mowing and it kept my mental state at rest.
Someday this war's gonna end . . .
We recently downsized from 1 acre to about 1/2 acre, but we're a lot more sun exposed now, so mowing actually takes longer on the 1/2 acre.
Out 6hp front-wheel-drive mower stalls quite often in the sometimes tall sometimes wet grass, even when I pop wheelies trying to make life easier for the blade. And my wife wanted me to upgrade to an electric-start mower when I broke my arm.
I don't want a sit-down mower. Anybody have recommendations for a powerful push mower with electric start?
We don't let ours get this long, but here's a picture of our neighbor's farm yard:
I have 1/3 acre and I mow. I have a push mower that cost me ~$160 new four years ago. The mower I had before that cost me ~$80 and lasted me 6 years. It still ran fine, but the rear frame had been damaged by movers and the rear bagging support mechanism didn't work correctly anymore. I sold it for $10 to a guy who did his own welding and decided he could fix it. He did, and I saw him out mowing his lawn with it the other day. I don't see the econmics of a $400 mower over a lower cost mower with a good engine. It might make sense for a landscape company if the extra dollars bought more ruggedness and mower lifetime, but for an individual I don't see how to justify it. These are simple machines.
My 1/3 acre has 20 trees on it -- mostly citrus. Plus, my wife likes "lawn art" and shrubbery. The lot is also a cul-de-sac lot with the house at odd angles to the old citrus grove alignments and the boundaries at odd angles to each other. All of this conspires to increase mowing time and to make a riding mower useless. But even with all of these handicaps, I can mow the whole yard in about 65 minutes if I'm in a hurry. Trimming with a weed whip takes another 15 - 30 minutes (depending on how thorough I choose to be), but I don't generally need to do that each time. I don't typically rush through mowing this fast. I sometimes spread the mowing/trimming out over a couple of days -- 30 - 45 minutes this evening and 30 - 45 minutes tomorrow evening.
There are times when we are busy and traveling a lot that the lawn mowing is a little bit of a chore, but most of the time I enjoy spending the time in my yard, getting a little exercise, and saving a lot of money.
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