Monday, April 1, 2013

Mowed Over

One thing I have yet to tackle as a renter was yard maintenance. And... it was quite nice. I'd wake up some mornings to hear the landscapers outside mowing the apartment lawns and I'd feel all cozy in bed and smile knowing that I didn't have to do a thing. 

And then we rented a house. I knew this day would come and I was both dreading and looking forward to the Spring. We've been looking up lawn mowers and the pros and cons of each kind: gas mowers, electric mowers, and reel mowers. I originally wanted to get a reel mower because it would be cheap and the most eco-friendly choice. But, glancing at my lawn I knew that it would be a beast to tackle with a reel mower so we moved on. 

I didn't want to deal with gas, oil changes, or tune-ups that are required from gas mowers. 

So our only alternative was an electric mower. It's more eco-friendly than gas as it has no emissions and it doesn't require any maintenance. Annually the electric mower will cost only $3-5 a year and gas would cost that per gallon. My kind of mower! We went to Home Depot expecting to find the electric mower options that we'd seen online. 

It was also the same price as the cheapest gas mower. 

$159 Source
But, they only had two electric mowers in the store. And this Black & Decker was the cheaper of the two. Our time was running out as fast as the grass was growing so we decided to get it. It also had pretty good reviews on their website so we figured we'd go ahead. The salesman even took off $20 so we could buy a 50 ft power cord for the mower which made the cord only $9.97. $200 still stung though... stupid boring adult purchases! 

$199 Source
Isn't it bizarre looking too?! I mean, my Little Tikes bubble lawn mower I played with as a child looked more like a lawn mower than this thing. 

So, after I figured out how to plug it in... 

Thanks for the blurriest drawing ever!
And I was in business! Unfortunately... I really underestimated the cord length by a lot... and only cut to that dotted line! 

After a quick run to Lowe's for another hundred feet of cord and I was back out there. Wow, was that grass long. I had it on the highest setting and it was very laborious to push the mower through the grass. Oh yeah, and mowing sucks. The electric mower did cut the grass but it struggled through the high grass a bit more than a gas mower would have. But, I also don't plan on letting it get that long!

The side yard was probably the worst part... weird weeds and really thick grass. I'm happy with the lawn mower for the most part:

-no gas
-no other maintenance
-easy start up, simply pulling a lever and holding it
-really, really quiet
-has a bagging and a mulching feature
-adjusting the blade height is as simple as moving a lever next to the wheel and lifting the machine up
-handle folds for easier storage

-you're still mowing a lawn
-I hate cords. HATE cords. I hate them no matter what they're attached to and having a corded lawn mower was an interesting experience. It will require a little more lawn mowing strategy. Just start at a place closest to you.
-not as much power as a gas mower
-holding down the lever can be kind of annoying

Also, hidden obstacles like a random weird pipe stuck in the grass. I had seen it before mowing but, of course, forgot about it and nearly sprained my ankle. Fun times. 

Our yard also has a few little blooms here and there...

Our front tree is blooming now with gorgeous Spring flowers. 

Three strands of old Christmas lights and one Christmas bow! I almost didn't get the lights down because they were so wedged up on the branches!

I still need to mow again in a few days and hopefully then the yard will be tamed!

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