The Royal Heffernans

Quite possibly the best family ever

Friday, August 17, 2012

Made in the USA

Man, no comments on Red Dawn? Tough crowd around here. How 'bout this one...

So like most red-blooded American men, I like to take good care of my home and yard. My yardwork has always been simple. I have a Craftsman 22" push mower (not self-propelled), a Black & Decker edger and a string trimmer. Since I bought my 1st house in New Orleans, these three trusty tools have served me well. After a 1 year hiatus in Nashville (that yard was HUGE and we were busy), I dusted off my gear and started taking care of my house in Cincy. Same mower, same edger, same trimmer.

When I started, I knew I was right on the edge of it being manageable. However, I gave it a try and could get the mowing done in about an hour and a half. Not too bad. Edging and trimming took a big back seat though. It just took too long to do it all at once. My neighbors all thought I was crazy, so it became a point of pride that I was one of the few, and more recently THE ONLY, neighbors who actually push mowed his yard.

My pride started to falter though last year. After moving in 3 years ago, I have hit the sweet spot in lawn care. Figuring out the right amount of water, fertilizer, seed etc, I now have a pretty healthy lawn. So now my old pusher had started to choke in the thicker grass and create a LOT of clumping. Ever rake your yard after you mowed? Yeah, it sucks! I started to eyeball riding mowers. I looked at a few, and researched it a lot. However, no move was made, as babies can be expensive.

All that changed when Piper was born. After the 2nd time mowing, Ali had gotten tired of my close to 2 hours mowing and then obligatory dip in the pool to cool off. When Mom and Dad were over one evening, she actually gave me the green light to buy a riding mower!

So without further ado, that's me on my new John Deere x304. I avoided the zero turns because they don't do well on hills. They also take up a ton of garage space. JD has a line of 4-wheel steering mowers which approach zero turn, so that's what I went with.

Was it instant glory? No. My first time mowing, I quickly realized that the beautiful cut was creating a LARGE amount of clippings that piled up in an unsightly way (you can see some in the pic above looking brown). Also, I realized that you don't take your butt off the seat while mowing. It cuts the engine. When that happened, it took me an hour to figure it out and get running again. I quickly bought an add-on mulching kit. Installed it last night. Taking off the deck of a riding mower and installing new blades yourself? Yeah, that's pretty awesome too! Right after, I took it out for a spin to chop up the extra clippings as you see above. Now?


As for the neighbors... You know you've made a good choice when one comes over and asks to mow some of MY LAWN FOR ME! He just wanted to test out the 4-wheel steering.


ian said...

Get a trailer hitch for tractor rides at Thanksgiving and it will be like a time machine!

Colin and Liz said...

you need to teach ava how to operate that bad boy.