Monday, January 30, 2006

Save Time Mowing

Are you tired of the amount of time it takes you to mow your lawn each week? Here are a few tips that may make the process easier for you.

First, eliminate the outer area, or perimeter, of the space you need to mow. Take out any statues, birdbaths, or fountains from your yard. That does not mean that you cannot have them. It simply means that they should be on the edges or on the patio areas so that you do not need to mow around them or break out the weed-eater. Remember that the more odd nooks and crannies you have in your garden, the more time you will need to spend mowing these intricate little places.

Similarly, patches of grass, called island beds, are a bad idea if you are trying to save time on your mowing. Island beds can be very attractive. They are little patches inside walkways or near fountains or stones where you may have a couple of square feet of grass. They can have a great effect as far as decorating is concerned, but they are tough for mowing. You will need a push mower or weed-eater, and they will take up a good bit of time.

Make the shape of your garden simple to navigate. Instead of having a unique zigzag pattern, opt for your basic square or rectangle. A circular garden and yard may seem cool, but it will require much more attention to the edges. You also will need to think about the type of grass you have. If you have tall grass or one, such as Kentucky Bluegrass, that looks different depending on the grain, or the way you cut it, then these grasses are difficult to cut and look good in oddly-shaped lawns.

If you have a square, then you can come up with a basic pattern. Then you can follow that pattern around your lawn instead of needing to adjust it based on the area of the lawn where you are working currently. Be sure that you take these issues into account as you are planning your lawn.

The borders of your lawn or garden are where you could start to lose a lot of time when you are mowing. You will find that you can purchase lawn borders, which are strips of grass that you put around the edges of your lawn. If you put them down properly, they will look great. You also will not have to be as picky about the mowing at the edges of your garden if you use the strips. Another issue is that you will want some type of border if you do not have the strips. That is because people will be able to see inconsistencies on a naked lawn border. Instead using a small fence or other distracting item will mean that you do not have to spend as much time on your mowing.

Back to the shape, stick with a basic edging for your garden. If you do not want only right angles, try some gradually sloping curves. They can be great to add a little flavor to your garden without making it harder to mow it. Similarly you should avoid any really curvy patterns in your lawn.

Try to set a specific time each week (and it should be done each week) to get some mowing done. If you begin to mow on a regular schedule, you will find that you will be more apt to get all of your mowing done on time so that your lawn stays looking great than if you try to tell yourself that you will make time for it. Doing that never works. You never make time, and your lawn never gets mowed. Making your lawn a priority so that your entire garden can look magnificent, and you will be able to enjoy it year-round.

Of course, these rules only apply for people who are trying to put little work into their garden and lawn and get some great results. Try out different mowers. See what works. Heck, if you really want to save time, hire a neighbor kid to do the mowing. That way your job is just to sit back, relax, and enjoy your garden!

By Julia Mercer

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