- Ideas & How-Tos
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The right mower makes taking care of your lawn easier and more efficient and helps you maintain a healthy, manicured lawn. If you have a large landscape, a riding lawn mower might be the best choice.
Riding mowers for the home landscape are available in two main styles. When deciding on a style, consider the size of your lawn as well as whether or not you want a machine that will tackle jobs in addition to mowing.
Lawn / Garden Tractors
Designed for mowing lawns 1/2 acre or larger, lawn tractors and garden tractors range in size and cutting widths. With optional attachments, they can perform a variety of other outdoor chores year-round, including hauling, spraying, and leaf pickup in addition to mowing. Some models accept attachments for heavy-duty chores like aerating, dethatching and snow removal.
Zero-Turn-Radius (ZTR) Mowers
Fast and maneuverable, these mowers can navigate a variety of obstacles. Rather than using a steering wheel and foot pedals, you control a ZTR mower with a pair of levers. While a ZTR mower doesn't handle the variety of tasks a tractor does, it can quickly maneuver around flower beds, trees and landscaping, reducing cutting time.
In addition to these main types, articulating mowers are also available. On these models, the rear portion of the mower pivots to steer the machine, offering high maneuverability. This type of mower combines some of the features of tractors, such as a steering wheel and foot pedals and features of ZTR mowers, such as a forward-mounted cutting deck and rear-mounted engine. These mowers can also accept some attachments.
The size of your lawn is an important factor in choosing a riding mower, but you should also consider the type of terrain – whether it's level or hilly – and the obstacles you'll need to work around.
Gate entries in your landscape and storage space are important to think about when considering a tractor that has a large deck width.
In addition to mower style, there is a wide range of features and options you can look for to find the perfect mower for your landscape and your work:
With the right tractor and the right attachments, you can maintain your landscape year-round. You can purchase optional attachments like baggers, mulching kits, spreaders, sweepers, aerators, dump carts and more to maximize your investment in a tractor. Just make sure you know the capabilities of a tractor before you make your purchase.
Get the lawn off to a fresh start by aerating it, rolling out uneven turf, spreading nutrients, hauling bedding plants and mulch and bagging the early growth.
Through the summer months, bag when the grass grows too tall and mulch the rest of the time. While mowing, catch a little relief from the sun with a canopy.
Rejuvenate your lawn by dethatching the turf, sweeping leaves, aerating the soil and spreading seed and nutrients.
Clear away refuse with a dump cart, disk-cultivate the garden, spread nutrients and plow or blow snow.
Always follow the mower, attachment and accessory manufacturers' operating, maintenance and safety instructions, including instructions on safety gear.