I used to use an electric lawnmower to cut our grass. However, because I have hay fever and eczema, I'd put off mowing as long as possible, so the electric mower didn't have the power required to handle long grass. (I also managed to cut through the power cord while mowing once, which is quite dangerous!). I therefore bought a 4-stroke petrol mover for around $300, which has plenty of power to get the overgrown lawn under control, but can be a bit hard to start when it hasn't been used for a couple of months.
DW thought it would be worth the expense to pay for someone to mow the lawn when it got more overgrown than usual a few months ago. But although she managed to get a quote for a "one off" mow, the appointment she arranged wasn't honoured - I suspect that most mowing services are only interested in repeat business.
DW then volunteered to cut the lawn occasionally herself, since she's only working two days a week and enjoys doing a bit of gardening while she's at home with DS2 (she also doesn't suffer from allergies). However, she isn't the mechanical type, so she asked me to buy her a push mower so she wouldn't have to use the petrol mower.
I bought a Chinese-made push mower for DW this afternoon that cost $99, which wasn't too bad a price considering it included a catcher. The European-made version cost $159, excluding a catcher. The catcher would have cost another $50 -- so the European-made push mower would have cost almost as much as I paid for the 4-stroke mower. I bolted the mower together this afternoon, but a small test cut showed that it would only be usable if I first cut the grass down to a reasonable length with the petrol mower, so I had to spend a couple of hours this afternoon getting some of the overgrown grass looking a bit more like a lawn. I didn't get the whole lawn cut, so I'll have to finish it off next weekend, but at least DW will be able to have a "play" with the push mower and see if she likes it.
If nothing else, a push mower provides some good exercise, and we'll save a bit of money not having to buy fuel for the 4-stroke mower. But I won't be selling the petrol mower just yet as I'm not sure how often DW will actually have the urge to push a mower around the garden ;)
Copyright Enough Wealth 2007