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Your Mower, the Environment, and You: Top Three Tips for Fall

by Joe Cooper, All About Lawns Columnist

Who says you have to put away your trusty mower for the colder months? Fall is still mowing time for many climates, and these tips can help you trim down issues like leaf raking and your mower's impact on the environment.

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  1. Try the New Leaf Raking.
    Tired of raking? Mow instead. Mowing over the leaves on your lawn grinds them into tiny bits that actually become good fertilizer for your lawn. Leaving the leaves whole and matted over your lawn will weaken your grass, so kill two fall chores with one push and mow right over 'em.
    1. Tip: To get even more advanced, use these leaf particles during your fall aeration, mixing them with the seed and fertilizer to keep your lawn healthy.
  2. Don't Be a Lawn Guzzler.
    You've heard of gas guzzlers, but how about "lawn guzzlers?" A community in Baltimore just ran a "Cash for Lawn Guzzlers" program, where residents could bring in their gas-powered mower and receive a voucher for a rechargeable battery-powered motor.
    1. a. Tip: Neuton battery-powered motors have won "organic gardening" awards, and are known for their quiet, efficient performance. They are light and easy to use, and best of all, they create none of those pesky, harmful emissions that can cause lawn mower green guilt.
  3. Get Reel.
    Get back to your roots (so to speak) with these modern day push mowers, the greenest of all lawn mower types. They make no noise, no emissions, require little maintenance, and are easy to clean and store. While they're not practical for large lots or high grass, reel mowers are affordable, exercise-encouraging lawn machines can get the job done for the right lawn.
    1. Tip: Beware the hard-to-push mowers, although many manufacturers are now refuting this criticism as a selling point. Choose the right reel mower weight for you and your lawn.

Whether you go gas, battery, or reel for your fall lawn mowing, remember to set the right height on your mower so you don't give your lawn too close of a shave before winter. And when you reach your last mow, remember to drain the gas from your mower for the winter. Or, in the case of a battery or reel mower--give it a nice wipe-down and call it a season.

About the Author
Joe Cooper writes education, home services, and design articles, and manages corporate communications. He holds a bachelor's in American Literature from UCLA.

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