We must be bonkers

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English: Walk-behind lawn mower

English: Walk-behind lawn mower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few years ago now we acquired a fairly large petrol-driven lawnmower almost identical to the one shown on the right but when it became impossible to purchase leaded fuel we ceased using it. We had been informed that the mower would have to be serviced to allow unleaded petrol to be used and we never got round to doing it, promising ourselves that we would at some point. A couple of weeks ago I mowed the lawn for the first time this year as the grass was beginning to get out of hand. We have been using an electric mower for a few years and it takes about an hour to mow the lawn with it, providing the grass is dry. Much of the lawn remains in the shade during the winter months and indeed for part of the Spring and Autumn. It is only during the early morning and evening that the sun can shine on the entire lawn at each end of the day. In the height of Summer much more grass is exposed to the sun during the day but close to the house no sunshine falls on the grass at all  except in the morning or evening. This is because the house faces SSW. and the rear garden which has the lawn is on the north side. At this time of year the grass is often wet or damp, especially in the centre of the lawn and it make mowing it difficult for anything other than a hover mower or a high-powered machine. Well our electric mower doesn’t fall into the category unfortunately and when I used it a couple of weeks ago it was hard work I can tell you. Often I would have to drag the machine along rather than push it and crazy as it may seem the grass still gets cut but it takes an age, almost two hours last time! I’d had enough of faffing about so I asked E when she was out shopping for fuel (her car runs on petrol) to buy an extra few litres in a can for use with the petrol mower which has been in one of the garages gathering dust for the last few years. I was determined to see if it was still in working order. On Friday I spent all morning on an electrical job out-of-town and was pretty tired on returning home but after a light lunch decided to give the mower an airing and see what problems I might encounter. There weren’t any, it started first time though I have to admit to forgetting to put some oil in the tank with the petrol to lubricate the cylinders. I corrected that mistake afterwards. It took a mere twenty minutes to mow the damp grass. I had to make an adjustment to the height of the blades as the cuttings started to clog-up the works and the machine cut out a couple of times but once that was done it was plain-sailing. To think we had a machine that could make short work of the task yet we kept on struggling with the electric mower. We must have been bonkers!

 

Shirley Anne

 

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2 responses

  1. There are additives you can use in the fuel. A good trick with damp grass is to knock the moisture off the grass a while before mowing with a brush or stick, it is better in the earth than trying to evaporate for hours and failing. Alternatively do as I have done and cut down the overhanging trees!

  2. Yes I know about the additives Caroline, just didn’t have any at the time. A squirt of engine oil sufficed and I shall get some proper additive before I use it again. I remember using ‘Redex’ many years ago in my car. That is the problem with petrol engines, they need lubricant added to the fuel whereas diesels don’t as the fuel is already oil! That’s a good idea with the grass though the machine only struggled at first because we had the wheels too high. Once wed dropped them and hence raising the blades at the same time we had no problem. Unfortunately or probably fortunately we do not have overhanging trees over the lawn.
    Shirley Anne x