Spring is on its way! This year, March 20 marks the Vernal or Spring Equinox, when day and night are the same length. Just when you are ready for some sunshine and warmth, freezing weather can linger well past the official start of spring on the calendar.
Grass spends the chilly winter months settled in dormancy. Spring brings an awakening to your lawn that will require some care, including a good mowing. It is not about waiting until a certain date to mow in the spring, but watching for the grass to reach the right height. It you cut it when it is too short, it may be vulnerable to disease. It is recommended that you wait until it is at least 2 inches tall before mowing in the spring in order to protect its roots.
What about your mower? Requiring gas and oil on a regular basis, gas-powered lawn mowers are noisy and can produce harmful emissions. Many communities offer a lawn mower exchange program where you can trade in your regular gas-powered lawn mower and receive a discounted price on an electric lawn mower. (The exchanged gas mowers are then recycled.)
If there is not a lawn mower exchange where you live, Consumer Reports recommends that you monitor your state’s Department of Environmental Protection website (click here for a list). You may also want to visit the lawn mower manufacturer’s websites to see if they offer information on lawn mower exchange programs.
Is an electric lawn mower right for you?
While electric lawn mowers are more suited for smaller lawns, a mower that produces no emissions, will run more quietly and require less maintenance is certainly an idea worth examination. The electric mowers have a narrower mow deck which will may require more passes as you mow. They also don’t handle tall grass quite as well as the gas-powered models, meaning you may have to mow a little more often when the grass is growing strong. In the past there were concerns about limited run time per charge. According to Consumer’s Reports testers, today’s cordless models will run longer per charge than previous electric lawn mowers.
Here are some links to several reviews that will give you more information and the Consumer Reports Lawn Mower Buying Guide video.