I am closing on my first house in just under a month and had a few
questions. The lawn will be seeded soon if it isn't already. What
steps should I take to ensure I end up with a good full lawn? I have
never cared for a new, seeded, lawn before so any advice is
appreciated. I will also need to purchase a mower. Our lot size is
slightly less than 1/2 acre. I was leaning toward a reel mower but my
wife is not convinced that a gas mower isn't a good choice. Let me
know what the pros-cons of reel vs gas are. I have looked at the
Brill Luxus 38 but am a little concerned about the 1.8" cutting
height. I learned from my dad and he always kept the grass
significantly higher (gas mower). Any links or advice that will help
me get a great lawn would be appreciated.
On Thu, 15 Apr 2004 07:19:07 -0700, Scott B. wrote:
Hello Scott. Congratulations on your new house & lawn. All your new lawn
will need is adequate water and nitrogen and all should be just fine.
Depending on your grass type, your location and soil type, you may need up
to 6 pounds of pure nitrogen per year per 1000 square feet. This pdf is
one of the best resources on how to figure out fertilizer amounts:
To reel or not to reel.....
Personally I like reel mowers. The quite clipping sounds and the beautiful
cut they leave is just great. With that said though, most people don't
have a reel mower lawn. They either have the Wrong grass type, uneven
lawns with lumps and bumps or they aren't 'religious' about cutting their
lawns regularly. If the grass gets too high while your on vacation, you'll
need to borrow the neighbors rotary to get back to the right mowing hight
for you. The wrong grass type will get thatchy and stemy over time and the
lumps tend to get scalped. The reel mower maintenance can be a bit much
for some folks also. The blade needs to stay very sharp to be an effective
mowing machine. Get a knick in the blade from hitting a stick or pine cone
and off to the garage you go. Don't take all this as a discouragement of
buying a reel mower. I would have one if I had enough time.....
As far as your Dad keeping the lawn higher, that was (imho) a good call.
Taller grass tends to use less water, stays greener longer and tends to
have less weeds.
I would recommend that you contact your local master gardeners and see
what they recommend for your fertilizer needs and what grass types are
best suited for your area. Over seed your lawn again when you move in and
possibly again in the fall when you fertilize. By next spring you'll have
a nice tight lawn. Good luck............
You might consider adding your own seed to the builders. They tend to use a
lot of rye for quick cover. Get something good for your area. A half acre
is a lot of grass to cut with a reel mower. I'd get a self propelled
mulching mower, myself.
I don't know about you. I will not use a man-powered reel mower in my
1/4 acre property (7200 sq.ft. are lawn). In my opinion, your 1/2 acre
is just too much lawn for a reel mower. If I were you, I would either
get a gas-powered self-propelled mower, or even a riding mower (if I
get enough money).
You may want to check the soil type, and try to improve the soil
before plainting grass seeds. The soil in my lawn is very sandy and
cannot hold water that well (only 1/2" to 1" top soil in my front
lawn). I must water the lawn more often than I want ( ~$$~ <--- flying
dollar bill). If I could start everything all over with, I would have
added much more top soil with plenty organic matters and compost and
Although this is very tempting to add underground sprinkling system to
your property to ease the burden in watering the lawn, I suggest not
to do this right now. You need to spend some time in your house and
your garden/lawn. When you have spent one or two years in your new
house, you will form a plan in your mind as of what to do with your
garden and lawn. At that point, you may convert some lawn area into a
flower-garden or a vegetable-garden (1/2 acre is quite large to fit
many types of garden). Having underground sprinkling system already in
place may restrict your freedom in designing your garden. For now, you
may want to use water hoses and a timer and water different areas of
the lawn in alternate day.
One last thing, you may want to buy a book on lawn care, and keep it
in a convenient place for reference.
Hope this helps.
* noisier and pollutingingmoring.
* may have safety procautions about keeping kids and body parts away from
general area and esp. discharge chute while cutting.
* engine propelled models require less individual effort to operate
* requires gasoline to run
push reel mowers
* less noisy (beandip powered mowers may be morepollutingingmoring)
* require either more mechanical proficency or $$ to sharpen blades
(except Brill models claim to stay sharp)
* manual models may not be suitable for St. Augustine or tougher grasses
* can operate on donuts or beer belly fat
Did you look at the Brill Accu line? Still only 1.8" cutting height, but
it's battery powered. I assume that makes it easier to push.
On 15 Apr 2004 07:19:07 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (Scott B.)
A mulching self-propelled walk-behind mower is about right for a half
acre. Honda gas engines are very good choices. With this you can
mow, trim, and clean up in about 2.5 hours. Raise the blade to 3" or
more and mow often. It is important to keep a newly seeded lawn
moist, at least for a month or two. Unless the wife is going to do
the mowing or at least help out, she should have no say. Lawn care is
very regional--talk with the local lawn experts. Six months or so,
consider having a soil test done to find out what amendments the lawn
Avoid weed killers for the first summer. They don't kill the new grass but
really weaken it and slow it down, giving room for a second generation of
weeds. Pull by hand or just tolerate until next fall.
By reel mower I don't know if you mean hand-pushed. With half an acre I hope
you're in good shape (or healthy enough to become so) if you provide your
own power. If you get a rotary mower, make sure the blades are really sharp
because dull blades can damage new grass.
If you are serious about a hand-pushed mower, buy one that's not too wide.
They're cheap and fairly easy to push and even if you also get a power mower
they're nice for trimming around obstacles and in tight corners.
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