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Woody2Shoes

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growing up rural, mowers were a distant thing. Saturday and sunday on 1/3rd to 1/4 acre lots, it just seems like half of the time you want to eat outside, all you hear is mowers. I guess there are about 12 lawns where a mower could be loud enough to seem loud in the back yard. My parents' property had a 1 acre yard with 21 acres of woods to the back, and a hill - nobody seems interested in using my mower type, but the other benefit to it is that you can mow in the rain. It doesn't care. If the neighbors are mowing, they first say "an antique!!" (no, four years old), then "we love your mower!!".

you become aware here who has "the old sears" bagger or something that sounds like an intentional noise maker with a pill can sized muffler and a chute that amplifies the blade noise rather than muffle it.

(the other nice thing about the honda mowers is that while they're not noise free, they're definitely quieter than the typical american "briggs and stratton" side valve type motors. I think the muffler design last changed around 1925 on those).
This is one of the reasons that I love my battery-powered Stihl brushcutter - I don't even need to wear ear-defenders (or breathe 2-stroke smoke)!
Round here in the autumn there is a chorus of petrol-backback-style leaf-blowers (the sound travels for a couple of miles, depending on wind direction)....

PS The older I get, the more I resent spending time and petrol/diesel cutting grass (and spending money on kit that gets used for a few hours a year and otherwise simply attracts thieves and /or rots) - much more eco-friendly options are available. If I really need to have a go at something, and my agricultural contractor is too busy, or finds access too difficult (I have some tight/steep areas), I hire one of these from a local hire shop: GINKO-MGM TT 786 self-propelled flail mower powered by a Honda GX270 engine
 
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Lons

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Geese are arguably better grazers (they only eat grass, not the hedge), excellent "guard-dogs", and are much simpler/easier to keep!
My FiL got 6 geese to keep the grass down in his orchard which they did to an extent but there were large patches they wouldn't eat and what he hadn't realised was that all the cr*p they produced made the grass grow even faster. :ROFLMAO: His other plan was to kill one for Christmas dinner but he couldn't do it, neither could I and he ended up buying an oven ready turkey.:rolleyes:
 

Lons

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Interesting. I struggle to imagine anything could be simpler/easier than our two sheep.
They eat grass, and get sheared once a year. That's it.
I've been offered some a number of times but we have a Labrador who eats anything, including sheep Sh*t. :sick: YUK.... and what she doesn't eat she rolls on.
 

Jacob

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About to say the same! Or other livestock.
You get much better meadow and wild flowers if you (or animals) take the cuttings off and let the soil go a bit lean, no fertiliser, no weed killers.
 

Donald Sinclair

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I have a paddock <> a half acre. I have been cutting it with a iseki 323 48 inch cut.

I have decided to reduce the area of grass and have some wild flower and veg areas.

I got a good offer for the Iseki today so I let it go.

I'm wondering what would be best to replace it with.

I'm not worried about having a bowling green, just reasonably presentable grass areas between the wild flowers etc.

Would I be better served with a cutter which mulches rather than picking the grass up?
We have a similar arrangement, with the added impediment of trees.

Even wild flower areas need mowing annually, in the late autumn.
An old style scythe would be ideal, cheap and environmentally sound.
A walk behind wheeled strimmer would be OK, but if this is your only
use remember to drain the petrol afterwards, or it won't start next year.

For the shorter grass we have a small rideon mower, an Etesta Bahia,
dear to buy, cheap to keep running. It can mulch or pick up.
It is good at picking up leaves, and more importantly for us, dog poo.
 

Essex Barn Workshop

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I don't have that sort of acreage, my grass area is about 100 sq yards, but when it was on offer in the winter I bought one of these flymo easilife robotic mowers based on recommendations. I paid over £200 less than current price by buying off-season. I've sown new seed in places so haven't set it up yet:
 

Woody2Shoes

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Interesting. I struggle to imagine anything could be simpler/easier than our two sheep.
They eat grass, and get sheared once a year. That's it.
Do you not have to register them with Defra, tag their ears, worm them, trim their hooves, get a vet to look at them, prevent them from trying to kill themselves repeatedly (I 'righted' a yew that was cast on its back just a few days ago) etc etc ? :D
 

dickm

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Nobody thought of a robot?? (ah, Essex Barn workshop has) I bought a Worx Landroid off Ebay a couple of years ago and it's the best tool available for an oldie. Just need to level off the spring grass with the heavy old 21" Hayter, then let "Robotup" do the work. We have solar panels, so even the fuel is free most of the time and all I have to do is rescue it on the odd occasion when it tries to eat a large fircone.
They are not cheap new, but you could get a big secondhand Husky/Stihl (Viking) for about the same as a decent petrol mower and they won't trouble your neighbours with noise. Worries the birds initially, but they soon get used to it.
 

Woody2Shoes

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My FiL got 6 geese to keep the grass down in his orchard which they did to an extent but there were large patches they wouldn't eat and what he hadn't realised was that all the cr*p they produced made the grass grow even faster. :ROFLMAO: His other plan was to kill one for Christmas dinner but he couldn't do it, neither could I and he ended up buying an oven ready turkey.:rolleyes:
Yup, all grazers produce some kind of manure - the trick is not to let it accumulate in any one spot (in case people wonder why there are often nettles under trees...). Over time, geese produce a beautifully neat sward - even more like a snooker table than what sheep produce. Our geese are skilled at jumping up to get low-hanging apples - I don't begrudge them a few (sheep would eat the trees!).
 

Peterm1000

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Nobody thought of a robot?? (ah, Essex Barn workshop has) I bought a Worx Landroid off Ebay a couple of years ago and it's the best tool available for an oldie. Just need to level off the spring grass with the heavy old 21" Hayter, then let "Robotup" do the work. We have solar panels, so even the fuel is free most of the time and all I have to do is rescue it on the odd occasion when it tries to eat a large fircone.
They are not cheap new, but you could get a big secondhand Husky/Stihl (Viking) for about the same as a decent petrol mower and they won't trouble your neighbours with noise. Worries the birds initially, but they soon get used to it.
I'm pleased you said that - "Herbie" the Worx Landroid just arrived today... Not just for oldies - also for lazies. We have Dave the robot vacuum (Neato D7) that is the best thing I have ever bought - I have great hopes for Herbie.
 

artie

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Sheep is what the previous occupant used, and sometimes cut it for hay. I would prefer having it somewhat tamed with a minimum of excrement, so I could have a stroll around on that good sunny day we are blessed with almost every year.
Could we go into mulch a bit more?
Is it feasible to just mulch with out lifting, EVER.
This appeals to me 😁
 

Cheshirechappie

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Sheep droppings are just pelleted mulch!

(Could try goats, but they're just sheep with enhanced escapology skills.)
 

JBaz

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We have a 2 acre paddock and for 20 years kept 4 sheep on it. They did keep the grass down but . ......

They need regular worming and "dipping" (the latter is more putting a chemical on the fleece these days)

Their feet need regular trimming and treating for rot.

Their rear ends need "de-clagging" to remove the wool that has become caked in s**t over the winter.

Shearing a sheep is not as easy as it looks, especially with hand shears. Finding somebody to shear just 4 sheep is even harder. Nobody wants the wool either.

Catching sheep to do the above is not trivial, especially without a (trained) dog.

Sheep have 2 wishes in life - escape and die, so maintaining a stock-proof perimeter is essential. If they do get out, your flowerbeds will be the first port of call!

Sheep won't eat thistles and weeds (unless they are your prized garden plants) and don't like to eat the grass round their droppings, so the paddock still needs topping and even raking if you don't pick the droppings up.

To cap it all, to buy sheep I think you still need to be registered with the Ministry of Ag and have a registered flock number.

When they eventually die (ours lived for nearly 20 years) you have to pay a registered "knackerman" to take them away.

And then there's the vets bills ...........!

Buy a nice outfront mulching mower like a Stiga for about £6K new and cut the grass in 10 minutes. It will be cheaper in the long run.
 

fenhayman

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Had a the smallest Hayter ride on for ten years on half acre before house move. Annual service no other problems. Would buy again
 

flying haggis

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lawnflite with an alloy deck, doesnt rust and last for years, get the HS version as it travels across the ground slightly faster than the non HS. this one has a rear roller for nice stripes but you can get one with just wheels

 

Noel

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Sheep is what the previous occupant used, and sometimes cut it for hay. I would prefer having it somewhat tamed with a minimum of excrement, so I could have a stroll around on that good sunny day we are blessed with almost every year.
Could we go into mulch a bit more?
Is it feasible to just mulch with out lifting, EVER.
This appeals to me 😁
Summer was Wednesday just past. Usual story.
 

dickm

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Careful with geese - they can be vicious b*****s, and if you are unlucky, they will convert your grass sward into silverweed (Potentilla anserina - the clue is in the name for dog latin speakers). But they are excellent burglar alarms; our neighbours had them on the farm opposite when we lived near Lancaster, and nothing approached our door without them sounding off.
 
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