Welcome to Lowe's
Find a Store

Prices, promotions, styles, and availability may vary. Our local stores do not honor online pricing. Prices and availability of products and services are subject to change without notice. Errors will be corrected where discovered, and Lowe's reserves the right to revoke any stated offer and to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions including after an order has been submitted.

Southeast Gardening: Eco-Friendly Lawn Tools

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Lowe’s Southeast gardening contributor shares some environmentally friendly options for mowers, string trimmers, and leaf blowers.

Reel mowers cut grass and are great exercise.
Get your teen moving by using a reel mower!

By Glenn DiNella

The trend a few years ago was for residential owners to use overpowered, noisy, stinky, gas-guzzling lawn mowers, blowers, and trimmers, as they saw the professional landscapers using. But that’s a trend I see waning. The green movement has people thinking about matching their power equipment to the size of their property.

You don’t need a riding mower and backpack blower for a postage-stamp lawn. If you have a very small yard, try one of the old-fashioned reel mowers. They are quiet, nonpolluting, safe, low-maintenance, and great exercise. If you have a teenager, let them get the exercise.

Electric mowers have their advantages and shortcomings.

For slightly larger yards consider purchasing an electric model, which is quiet, less polluting, and easy to maintain. Plug-in mowers, blowers, and edgers are reliable if you don’t need to go far from an outlet with an extension cord. Check your manual, but using more than 200 feet of cord probably will strain the motor. New lithium-battery-power equipment works great, but you might want to purchase extra batteries so you always have one charged.

Add gas treatment to your mower when using ethanol fuel.

A mower tethered to an outlet with a power cord is great for small yards, but you have to adjust the cord constantly as you mow to avoid cutting it. You also can find battery-powered mowers. I use one when working on smaller yards or to get into tight spots on larger yards where my riding mower can’t reach. The lead battery is heavy, and the mower is not self-propelled, so it works best on flat yards.

For hilly or medium-size yards, self-propelled gas-power mowers are overwhelmingly popular. Most mower manufacturers and mechanics recommend adding an ethanol treatment to gas used in any small engine. Ethanol might be a great way to utilize U.S.-grown corn and stretch our oil imports, but it attracts water to the gas, and deteriorates rubber and plastic parts in the equipment, so a treatment is vital.

You might even consider equipment powered by compressed natural gas or propane. Manufacturers produce propane-powered handheld equipment, such as edgers and blowers, as well as push mowers and even riding mowers. Most propane is produced in the U.S., burns cleanly and efficiently, and you have no ethanol worries.

See more by this author.