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-   -   What kind of basic lawnmower/weedwhacker should I get? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f16/what-kind-basic-lawnmower-weedwhacker-should-i-get-29658/)

callmedpit 10-09-2008 04:10 PM

What kind of basic lawnmower/weedwhacker should I get?
 
Just bought a house, first time I've had to mow the lawn :)

Looking to get a basic lawnmower/weed whacker, but wanted to get some recommendations. I was thinking about just going to Sears and just getting whatever was in the $250 range for the lawnmower and about $100 for the weed whacker. Obviously they pretty much just sell Craftsman there. Is that an ok brand, or should I try and go for something else?

Any recommendations would be helpful...lawn isn't too big, probably around 3,000 sq/ft or so. One other specific question, should I get something bagged, or one of the ones that is a mulch mower, I guess where it spits the grass back out?

Kap 10-09-2008 11:24 PM

Get a mulcher. Don't bag. Mulching puts nutrients back into the yard. Toro makes decent mowers for residential. With your small yard, you can save a few bucks by not getting a self-propelled mower.

Me personally, I wouldn't buy a Craftsman.

Kap 10-09-2008 11:28 PM

And Ryobi makes decent gas trimmers. check out their Expand-It system if you think you may need some other lawn tools.

chrisn 10-10-2008 04:30 AM

Get a mulcher. Don't bag. Mulching puts nutrients back into the yard.

True , but I have been told that it will also build thatch which must be dealt with over time. Is this accurate?

handy man88 10-10-2008 09:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chrisn (Post 170368)
Get a mulcher. Don't bag. Mulching puts nutrients back into the yard.

True , but I have been told that it will also build thatch which must be dealt with over time. Is this accurate?

A mulching mower will chop grass down to itty little bits. Those little bits will decompose over time.

When cutting grass, make sure you're not cutting off more than 1/3 of the height to make sure you're not whacking at the grass.

Thatch is mainly built up when you have dead grass during the hot season and you don't have a sprinkler system.

Go with a Honda brand or Honda engine mower. Honda mowers have two blades to ensure better cutting. Most mowers allow you to choose between bagging or mulching.

I've had a Husqvarna trimmer for 5 years and it's worked consistently for me every time.

Stick with these:

Mower Engine: Honda or Kawasaki or Kohler

Trimmer: Husqvarna or Stihl or Honda

Also, you may want to consider a gas leaf blower to blow grass, leaves, dirt after trimming, etc., and if you have a lot of trees, consider a blower vac.

callmedpit 10-10-2008 09:25 AM

Thanks guys, I think I'm going to get this one:

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...43+527933+1953

It does bagging and mulching, and $279...so best of both worlds :)

handy man88 10-10-2008 11:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by callmedpit (Post 170425)
Thanks guys, I think I'm going to get this one:

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...43+527933+1953

It does bagging and mulching, and $279...so best of both worlds :)

Look at the reviews for this product. Not many happy campers, and those that are, are green like you.

jerryh3 10-10-2008 12:12 PM

I've had a Cub Cadet trimmer for six years. The only problem I've had was a broken clutch spring which was easily fixed. Plus, it was easy to get spare parts when I needed them.

Semiretired48 10-10-2008 01:42 PM

When it comes to a mulching mower, it's hard to beat a Snapper. I bought one after seeing my mothers neighbor using one to cut rather deep grass in his yard and I was amazed at how the cuttings just disappeared. Also, if you have any trees that drop leaves in the fall, it'll do a good job on them, too.

Kap 10-11-2008 04:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by handy man88 (Post 170411)
Thatch is mainly built up when you have dead grass during the hot season and you don't have a sprinkler system.

Over watering and over fertilizing can also lead to thatch build up.

downunder 10-12-2008 01:28 PM

Since you are new to lawn care, I suppose that your maintenance knowledge is limited as well. Have you checked with local small equipment shops for their products, prices? Home Depot, Sears, do not service equipment. Better than even chance that you will get better service from an equipment shop when you take it in for maintenance and repairs if you bought it there. Value does not always equal $!

I'm confused on this thatch thing. Heat and irrigation?
University of GA Certified Landscape Professional program defines thatch as "an accumulation of dead plant material at the soil surface. Thatch is composed of turfgrass stems, rhizomes, stolons and roots. It prevents penetration of water into the soil, harbors insects and disease organisms and leads to a shallow rooted grass..."

Kap 10-12-2008 05:43 PM

Not my words, but spoken better than I could:

The primary component of thatch is turfgrass stems and roots. It accumulates as these plant parts buildup faster than they breakdown. Thatch problems are due to a combination of biological, cultural, and environmental factors. Cultural practices can have a big impact on thatch. For example, heavy nitrogen fertilizer applications or overwatering frequently contribute to thatch, because they cause the lawn to grow excessively fast. Avoid overfertilizing and overwatering. Despite popular belief, short clippings dropped on the lawn after mowing are not the cause of thatch buildup. Clippings are very high in water content and breakdown rapidly when returned to lawns after mowing, assuming lawns are mowed on a regular basis (not removing more than one-third of the leaf blade).

handy man88 10-12-2008 06:40 PM

As I said before, thatch can also be created during the hot season when you don't have a sprinkler system.

The grass thus dies if you can't manually keep up with the watering, and this dead grass doesn't come back even if you water it again. Thus, it must be manually removed.

Kap 10-13-2008 04:14 AM

I've never seen anything to indicate heat and drought conditions leading to thatch. Under those conditions, grass will slow down and stop growing. And even if it starts to die off, if will die from the top down. It is excessive growth that mainly leads to thatch buildup.

Grass types make a difference too. Some grasses will never develop thatch, while some may need to be dethatched annually.

handy man88 10-13-2008 08:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kap (Post 171660)
I've never seen anything to indicate heat and drought conditions leading to thatch. Under those conditions, grass will slow down and stop growing. And even if it starts to die off, if will die from the top down. It is excessive growth that mainly leads to thatch buildup.

Grass types make a difference too. Some grasses will never develop thatch, while some may need to be dethatched annually.

Oh yes, it does happen.

When that grass dies due to sun/drought, it's dead. If you want to bring it back, you'll have to dethatch and put down more seed.


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