Lawn Care

Cut the grass in half the time

Ride-on mowers save time and effort for larger lawns, says Helen Pickles.

However much we love lawns they can be a pain to cut. When it’s wet or cold, or mowing takes too much time, the attraction palls. Chris Reay, who has an acre of lawns, admits that even the smell of freshly cut grass and the exhilaration of being outside are not always sufficient temptation. “My previous machine collected the grass,” he says. “But if the grass was too long or wet, it got blocked.

The cuttings also needed emptying. It got to be a chore.” Reay, an engineer who lives on a Northumberland smallholding with his wife and two sons, adds: “It was OK if you had lots of time and the weather was fine, but I couldn’t count on that.”

Last year, Reay decided to upgrade to a Husqvarna Ride-on mower. “It’s more expensive but has made life much easier. Now I can do the grass in one-and-a-half hours rather than the previous three to four hours.”

A big difference is the Rider mulches the grass, discreetly dispersing fine clippings back into the lawn to decompose naturally, so he does not have to empty a bin. Mulching improves grass quality, returning nutrients to the soil. Grass can be cut damp, so there is no need to mow only when it is sunny.

The Rider’s manoeuvrability surprised Reay. “We’ve got beds and borders, plus an orchard, a kitchen garden and a greenhouse. Because of its articulation, it gets tightly around the trees and beds, which means I don’t have to trim those edges afterwards.”The Rider also has to cope with terraces as the house is on a slope — one reason Reay chose the all-wheel-drive version. “It’s intuitive to use, so you can’t do anything silly. And it’s very comfortable. There’s even a phone charger and somewhere to put your can of drink!” But the chief benefit is that mowing is less of a chore as it takes less time. “It’s now a pleasurable task and gives me more leisure time,” adds Reay.

Husqvarna rider

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