I am not what you would call “outdoorsy.” When I was little, I remember getting grounded outside on the porch because “go to your room” didn’t really phase me. It was not uncommon for me to fake an injury to get out of shoveling, raking, or playing basketball with my brother. Needless to say I have never mowed the lawn in my life. I do own a push mower but I am a tiny girl and cannot get it to start with the pull cord.
After buying my new house, I knew I had to come up with a solution or hire a lawn care service. I am also stubborn. So, I looked at electric starts, battery-powered, and old-fashioned reel mowers. The reel mower seemed like a great option: low maintenance, greener, and I can do it by myself! I did some research and saw a recommendation from a friend on Facebook for the Friskars Reel Mower. I read all of the reviews, which were overwhelmingly positive and decided to move forward. My parents were so kind to purchase it for my house-warming gift. It arrived in a heavy, compact box with two random, leaking bottles of John Frida “Go Blonder” shampoo. Thank you for the surprise present and for subtly enhancing my highlights, Amazon. The assembly was pretty straightforward. A normal person could probably put this thing together in under ten minutes. It took me probably 45. In my defense, I didn’t have a socket wrench (my dad has now remedied this with a full kit. Thank you Dad!!) and so I had to McGuyver this assembly. It involved some needle nosed pliers, skinned up knuckles and holding things in place with my feet. However, it was all worth it though when I stood everything up and it didn’t fall apart on me. My first time mowing was TERRIBLE. I took a break halfway through the back yard because I thought “this is what it must feel like to have a heart attack… Or heat stroke.” Because, you know…. That’s the same (?) I kept going and it turned out ok. There were some wonky patches, but I just went over them again. One great thing is that my mower doesn’t leave those tell-tale track marks so you can’t tell if I have problems walking straight or enjoy drawing figure eights in my yard
Some things I learned about mowing:
- Do not cut the grass in the morning because it’s still wet from dew. It is so hard to push and it hurts your legs, your arms, and your core.
- Even though it seems like a good idea to cut the grass super short (level 2 after two weeks of heavy rain) so you don’t have to mow as often… Don’t. It is so hard to push and it hurts your legs, your arms, and your core.
- Mowing with a reel mower is a great workout for your legs, your arms, and your core! 😉
- No matter what, you need to mow once a week.
- Walk as fast as you can, it will be over sooner and you actually get a more even cut.
A few people expressed concern about clippings since there is no bag on a reel mower. This hasn’t really been a problem for me. The worst was the first time (pictured below from Instagram) and the grass was damp, sticky, and had two weeks of growth. My yard is fairly small, thankfully, and I have only had to rake parts of the back hard twice in the areas that get a lot of shade and the grass seems to really thrive there. I read that leaving small clippings (not the clumps/piles) is actually better for your yard. It isn’t noticeable at all, I just stay on top of mowing once a week and that seems to be working out great. I have had my mower for almost a month and I’m still loving it. I have gotten the mowing time down from an hour to maybe 30 minutes for the front and back yard. For comparison’s sake my dad did the whole thing with the gas mower in maybe 15 minutes. So I still have some room for improvement. But it’s coming along! How do you feel about yard work? Do you love time outdoors in your yard or try and get through it as quick as possible? Have you ever used a reel mower?