Lawnmower Man

On the subject of starting too many projects without having finished the unfinished ones, we want a little path back to the compost/chicken area, so today I marked one out. I think I can make this in a day or two with the help of the adze and the edging attachment for the new mower, if I can figure out how that works, precisely.

Here's how the path will look from the path itself:

New path

I worked out the basic shape with a hose then started drawing, because drawing just works better for me. I know plenty of people who do all their bed/path marking with hoses and nothing else, but inevitably a hose gets moved or kicked or something, so drawing feels better to me.

As you can see, there were some revisions to the drawing.

Path with dogs

I recommend occasionally getting on a ladder and looking down at your garden, by the way. It can really help you see the structure (or lack thereof). Anyway, to the left of Goldie in the photo is a stick marking the sprinkler head (critical knowledge when you are wielding cutting tools). To the right is a dot that marks the corner of the chicken yard. Because it is March, and after Easter the feed stores will be carrying chicks.

After marking the path, I had Noel mow it very low for me, so it would be easier to see. Which brings me to the subject of the new mower, which was Noel's birthday present from his parents. It's awesome. Here it is in action:

New mower

The mower is a Neuton, a battery-powered mower. Battery mowers have two major drawbacks: they tend to be small (but actually we have a small yard and a lot of small trees and shrubs to mow around, so we need a smaller mower), and they tend not to last long (but we have a small lawn, getting smaller, and anyway the in-laws threw in an extra battery).

But they have a lot of great benefits: they are very clean (no nasty fumes or greenhouse gasses like gas mowers), they can be recharged with whatever fuel you want (we recharge with the city's service, which is 80% green energy, but we could also charge from a PV panel)., and best of all a battery powered mower can be stored in a shed shared with chickens without killing them.

Noel and mower

We used both batteries mowing all our grass today, and the collection bag is a little small so there were a lot of trips to the compost piles, but a new mower is really a major step up for us from the series of cast-off mowers we've been using.

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posted by ayse on 03/02/08


Aren't electric mowers great? I opted for a corded version (I have bad luck with rechargeable batteries) and just love that it's 1) quiet 2) not stinky 3) requires no extra purchase and risky storage of gasoline and 4) is light enough that I can take it up and down steps or put it my car (the handle folds down) safely and without help. Plus that whole better-for-the-environment thing.

Do you plan to pave the path at some point?

The batteries in the Neuton are more like car batteries, so I'm feeling pretty good about them. And yes, this is definitely a very very nice mower. I rarely use mowers because I'm very allergic to grass, but I could get behind the idea of this one.

As for the path, I do plan to pave it. I'm working on designing a paver that I will cast in concrete. I'd like to do the path and also the "patio" area in front of the shed. But the paver design is not working so well right now, so for the moment the path will be just sand like the other paths in the yard.

We have the Whisperlite, Neutons older brother. Adding a 2nd battery made life easier with a 30x 60 lawn area. Also, I use a garbage can to shuttle clipping to the mulch pile. Love all the work you've shared.

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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