Lawn mowers are an essential investment for ensuring a beautiful lawn. When shopping for a lawn mower, it is important to consider the size and shape of your lawn, as these will determine what type of mower suits your lawn the best.
A general rule of thumb when choosing a lawn mower is to consider the size of your lawn. The bigger your lawn is, the larger you will want your mower to be to accommodate the size of your property.
Different Types of Lawn Mowers
Let’s start by thinking about your lawn as a tennis court, a lawn that is roughly the size of a court will be considered medium, half the size of the court will be small and anything beyond that will be a large lawn.
Now that we know what size of lawn we are working with, let’s take a look at the different types of lawn mowers to choose from.
Push Lawn Mower
Push mowers are ideal for small yards of less than ¼ acre, or about half the size of a tennis court. They are great, low-maintenance and reliable options if you don’t have a lot of yard to tend.
Some key features to highlight with push mowers are their versatility and convenience. Push lawn mowers, sometimes can serve as mulching mowers, often include mulch kits that help you groom your lawn by cutting grass clippings, lawn and leaf debris into finer smaller pieces that can then be used as natural, nutrient-rich fertilizer for your lawn.
Many push lawn mowers are also fitted with a folding handle that makes storage easy and convenient as it won’t take up too much space in your garage. As the name indicates, you do need to use your own strength to push it across the lawn.
It’s also worth mentioning that reel mowers would fall into this category as well. These are manual push mowers where the blades spin vertically rather than horizontally and have no engine.
They are the most inexpensive option, but definitely require some effort. If you have a very small urban lawn they might be the perfect option given their tiny size and ease of maintenance.
Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Advancements in technology and engineering have made traditional lawn mowers more convenient through the creation of self-propelled mowers. These mowers require no extra elbow grease on your end, so you can make quick work of larger or hilly yards.
Self-propelled lawn mowers have variable-speed systems that let you cut at a comfortable pace. You can choose front-wheel, rear-wheel and all-wheel drive transmissions so you can tackle any terrain with ease.
With a self-propelled lawn mower, the machine will cut the grass for you, propelled on its own, and all you have to do is guide it. Cutting decks tend to be a bit larger than the average push mower, but the more complex setup also entails more maintenance.
Compact Riding Mower
For lawns that fall somewhere in the middle of small and large, we recommend a compact or mini riding mower. These machines deliver the same strength and durability as a more traditional lawn tractor but with a compact design.
This machine is the perfect choice for someone with a yard that is too big for a walk-behind mower, but doesn’t warrant the use of a full sized riding mower or residential zero-turn.
It will allow you to cut your lawn comfortably, faster, and can be conveniently stored in your garage or large shed once you’re done.
Riding Lawn Mower
If your yard is definitely larger than a tennis court, heading up to the size of a football field or more, a riding lawn mower will make cutting grass feel like a walk in the park.
Riding mowers work like cars and can be operated with minimal effort and optimal comfort. Lawn tractors are popular and versatile riding mowers that are durable and versatile with added attachments like baggers, dump carts and spreaders that make riding lawn mowers year round machines.
Additionally, a riding lawn mower is a great option for homeowners with hilly yards. These machines feature bigger tires and better centers of gravity that will hold traction on those steep slopes and lead to a cleaner cut.
Major manufacturers will have a full lineup to choose from, for example Troy-Bilt offers lawn tractors ranging 36” to 54” cutting deck sizes.
Zero-Turn Lawn Mower
If you have a large yard with many obstacles to mow around, a zero turn mower is one of the best devices to utilize. Zero-turn mowers reduce mowing time and allow you to maneuver around obstacles with ease and precision, and make very tight turns at the end of each pass.
Zero-turns can get close to obstacles, reducing the amount of time that you’ll spend on trimming later. On top of the smooth ride zero turns provide, the cushioned, high-back seats and foam grip lap bars provide extra comfort and support, so you can sit back and enjoy the ride.
Some manufacturers offer steering wheel zero-turn mowers for a more car-like driving experience as well. There are other less common mower options available as well that might make sense.
For instance, full professional landscaper grade machines might be best for the high end user with huge areas that need to be mowed. At the other end of the spectrum, robotic mowers, similar to the popular robotic vacuum cleaners, are starting to make a place for themselves in the mower market.
Once the lawn is established, it will need mowing around 20 times per year to maintain optimum height. According to commercial lawn care specialist, JBL Services, your lawn needs to be mowed weekly in summer, every two weeks in spring and fall, and monthly in winter.