In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook discusses options and features of non-gasoline-powered mowers.
Steps for Choosing the Right Eco-Friendly Lawn Mower
- Electric, corded mowers have plastic decks and electric motors, so they’re much lighter and quieter than gasoline mowers.
- Electric mowers often have a rear- and/or side-mounted collection bag.
Both positions work well at collecting the grass clippings, but rear-mounted is preferred because the bag can’t hit shrubs and hedges.
- Be sure to compost grass clippings; don’t dump them into a landfill.
- You can avoid collecting grass clippings by buying a mower with a mulching blade.
- When using an electric mower, start near the house (or wherever the extension cord is plugged in) and slowly work in the opposite direction to avoid running over the cord.
- Cordless mowers have rechargeable battery packs that can be recharged in 12 to 24 hours.
- On a fully charged battery, the mower will run approximately 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the length and thickness of the lawn.
- Most cordless mowers have steel mowing decks and mulching blades.
- A battery-power mower often features a rear-mounted bag, easy-adjust wheels and, of course, super-quiet motor.
- Reel mowers have no motor at all, making them quiet, clean, and ideal for smaller lawns.
- Modern reel mowers are much lighter and easy to operate than older models.
- Reel mowers feature five curved steel blades that are mounted to a geared reel that turns the blades faster than the wheels.
- The blades pass by a bed knife that cuts the grass as cleanly as scissors.
- Standard reel mowers are only 13 inches wide, but 20-inch-wide models are also available.
- Sharpen the blades of a reel every two years by smearing grinding paste onto the blades, and then rotating the blades in reverse.
- After mowing, sweep off grass clippings with a whiskbroom, then spray all metal parts with silicone lubricant. Don’t rinse the mower with a hose because that could force grass clippings into tight cracks and crevices.