Mid to late summer in Florida, what a wonderful time of year. It’s hot, the grass is growing so fast you can almost see it change from one day to the next. About Ten years ago I received the present of a Lawn Service for my birthday. To say the least it was wonderful. The grass was cut, lawn trimmed and edged and I didn’t have to do a thing. But alas the economy changed the the luxuries became a thing of the past. Ever since, I have been mowing my own grass. Unless you’re are lucky enough to live in a community like River Club in Punta Gorda where the grass is mowed for you by the HOA, you may be faced with having to purchase a lawn mower someday, and if so, you will be faced with a few choices that you will have to make.
First you will need to chose between gas and electric. Electric is really quiet, starts really easy ( just plug it in) and is really reliable (when was the last time you ever heard of someones electric mower breaking down?) But unless you pay for a battery powered one the cord is a pain to say the least. It seems like it is always on the wrong side of the mower. There is also the power issue. That applies to corded or battery mowers. The lawns here in Florida tend to be thick, and this time of year long, unless you are a zealot that mows twice a week. Electric mowers just don’t seem to have the torque needed down here.
So you decide to go with gas. Do you want a push mower or self propelled? That’s more a question of how big is your yard? Have you planted an english garden that covers practically every inch of property and you only have 1000 square feet of turf left? Go ahead and get a push mower. If you have 5,000 to 10,000 sf of grass, get a self propelled. Having trouble justifying the extra expense? Just look up what one or two trips to the emergency room for heat exhaustion cost, and you will have paid for the mower in no time. This formula works to justify a riding mower as well, but good luck justifying the storage space.
Next you have to decide whether you want a mower with a side discharge, bag or mulching. That one was easy for me. Mulching mowers send nutrients back to the soil so I don’t have to fertilize as much plus I don’t have to rake and don’t have to stop and empty the bag every fifteen minutes or so. You might call me lazy, I consider that I am doing my part for the environment
One of the keys to a mower in Florida is how high will it allow you to mow? If you have St Augustine Grass you want to be able to mow at 4″ especially when it’s dry. Longer grass can withstand drought conditions better than shorter grass so get a mower that will cut high when you need it.
Other than that, stay hydrated it’s hot out there.