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thanks for the response, Joe - I did admit to being "dangerous" ref the elastic loop..........& no nozzle with the fuel can (I must have lost it).  I have to empty the grass box far too often, perhaps because I can't always manage to mow when the grass is dry & the chute/boox seem to clog up faster than I'd like.  The Hayter is, as you say, rather low and I don't find it nearly as good as the Atco, which was a rotary with a roller.  Lasted for 27 years & eventually they couldn't get spare parts for it.  The ground/soil here is very light, so compaction not much of a problem really & I spend so much time repairing rabbit damage that the Atco's roller was very useful.  Ref edges - maybe a retractable wider front wheel would work?   I used to have a battery driven lawn edger which was quite heavy - you rolled/dragged it along.  Worked a treat - but it disappeared some time ago - house move I think, when some stuff was accidentally left behind.


I know what you mean about swearing............... my garden's far from immaculate - rabbits & dogs to thank for that!


Dear Luke Browning, I have just filled in your latest questionaires, I have to admit I have the smallest lawn in the U.K. I think you should have asked about the size of the lawn and if there is any slope on it as that does affect the mowing 'experience'.

thank you for your advice, there are many questions i would like to have asked. I didnt want to make it too long that people didnt have time to answer fully and i was restricted to the amount of questions i could ask without purchasing an account.


Thank you very much 


The questionnaire doesn't really suit my circumstances, because the only lawns that I mow are other people's, and I use their mowers. It's likely that there are other professional gardeners on this board who might wish to answer, with the benefit of their wider experiences with different machines in different circumstances and with different priorities. Interested?


I've just completed the questionaire Luke.

I mentioned earlier about liking the idea of going back to manual equipment in the garden, not scissors or a scythe Joe, but something simple and non polluting. I was born in the fifties and have nostalgia for those Sundays when you would hear the gentle wirring of mowers and clip clipping of neigbours trimming their privet along with the smells of new mown grass.

Nowadays, even though many people have pocket handkerchief size lawns, my daughter included, they spend ages getting their electric mowers out and putting them away to do a five minute job. Why not start a renaissance in mowing and bring in a beautifully engineered push mower? At a time when we're supposedly threatened with an obesity epidemic the excercise would be a whole lot healthier and cheaper than gym membership and we might even enjoy peaceful Sundays once more.

I can really appreciate that this solution would not be for everyone, least of all professional gardeners like Joe, but might it just take off?


I think it's a great ambition, Carly, but it would demand a considerable change of direction from the manufacturers, and they would need to take the public with them if they were not to be left with a warehouse full of unwanted mowers, however well-engineered. 

I bought my daughter an electric mower for about £50 from B&Q to do her little squares of lawn front and back, and I doubt if a push one would be cheaper. And I can cut her privet hedge to perfection in about five minutes with the machine.

She is of a generation that prefers an electric gadget, and she prefers zumba to gardening. I was brought up push-mowing with a Qualcast, but I'm not sure there's any way back.

Ha ha Joe, you hit the nail on the head there " I can cut her privet hedge to perfection in about five minutes with the machine." Who needs electical power if you have parent power 

Ok, maybe I'm the preverbial cockeyed optimist but with the growing green movement I'd like to see someone try to bring back manual mowers, maybe brought up to date in cool colours, (check out what they're doing to jazz up shopping trolleys). My experience of buying electric lawnmowers is that they may be cheap but can't be repaired when they break down so just have to be replaced.We live in such a throw away society - apologies for being a grumpy old woman!


No apology necessary Carly! (By the way, she's a teacher, so spends half the weekend on school work, and most of her kids are pre-verbal.) Good luck with the campaign, I'm not against it, but the practicalities and the economy may be. Necessity is usually the mother of invention, so we'll see how things go - if we live long enough.


My response to heavy, clogging, noisy machines which ripped rather than cut the grass? Dug up the grass and grew vegetables instead! Much more rewarding.

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