Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Reel Mowers -- The Proven Method!
Invented in 1830, the push reel mower was perfected and proven in actual use - worldwide - long before modern fertilizers and herbicides were available. Functionally elegant as a bicycle, the hand mower still ranks as a highly efficient human-powered machine - a tool well fitted to its task. Turf , lawn grass, does not grow vertically but splays out from a growth point just at ground level. Multiplied over a lawn area, the plants form a dense interwoven network of growth just above soil level - a key element of turf's desirable ability to retain moisture and crowd out weeds. Check out the Reel Mower from Sunlawn! A comparison Regular mowing with the reel mower cuts the grass to the proper height with minimal disturbance to its natural interwoven growth pattern. The reel cutting system scissor-cuts the grass in place as it lays, keeping the height constant but leaving the oblique blades at varied lengths. The roller refreshes the interwoven growth pattern and the clippings are recycled back into the lawn to compost and provide nutrients. The push reel mower is the original mulching mower so a catcher is not needed unless you wish to collect the clippings for use as mulch elsewhere. In contrast, the rotary mower sucks the grass up to vertical then chops it all off with the fast-moving blade. Note in the upper right inset of the drawing an example of reel-cut (L.) and rotary-cut (R.) grass blades; it is easy to see why poorly-sharpened rotary mowers can leave brown tops. The rotary mower design is simple and adapts very well to small engines plus it can cut over a wide variety of lawn conditions. But the vacuum action of the rotary mower does destroy the natural inter-woven growth pattern, causing the grass to lose much of its natural moisture retention and weed crowding abilities. To compensate for the disturbance to its growth pattern as well as to avoid scalping injury the lawn must be left longer. L~larger plants require more water and fertilizer, and the greater possibility of weed incursion must often be met with more chemicals to maintain the lawn in healthy condition. Mowing Height Cutting height recommendations are based on the requirements of the rotary mower. With a reel mower you may always cut to the lowest recommended height and be confident of a naturally healthy lawn. Regularity is the key. The mowing rule of thumb is to reduce the height of the grass by one-fourth to one-third. If you mow to an inch and a half, then at two to two and one-quarter inches it's time to mow again. If you wait too long and reduce the height by half or more at one time, especially in hot weather, the delay can cost you. A yellow tinge may appear indicating root shock which may take weeks to recover. The grass will recover and grow back but the weakened lawn is now more susceptible to weed germination. Thus your lawn will repay you for regular mowing with both better appearance and a healthier root structure. All there is to it... Grip the handle comfortably at waist height. Walk at a deliberate, even pace, mowing back and forth in overlapping passes. The amount of overlap may vary from minimal to a full double cut depending on lawn conditions. Don't miss out on the Reel Mower from Sunlawn!