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31/05/2014 at 20:39

As per the title - about to move to a house that has a garden so large and beautiful that it will probably consume most of my spare time. Being in the Lake District, it is on a very steep slope which is something I've not had to contend with before - does anyone have any tips or suggestions for mowing the lawn? So far from the best advice from google was to buy a pair of spiked shoes with ankle support!

The previous owner described it as a man's job and she got someone in to take care of it - however I am 5ft3 and about 7 stone if that, so I'm a bit worried that as a very petite lady I may not be up to the task! I've only mowed my parents medium sized garden before and that was with a flymo hover mower, so pretty easy.

My partner - who is now no longer able to do mowing due to being incapacitated for the foreseeable - usually did the mowing with our big heavy petrol mower that was probably heavier than me - so is there a mower out there that even a slip of a thing could use that would be up to such a big task - or am I going to have to relent and 'get a man in' to do the mowing?

Other ideas have so far included getting some sheep or goats in  - then realising they would try to eat everything else too....or getting an army of guinea pigs in a pen which was moved round the garden....although I suspect the dogs may want to eat their droppings and the fox will want to eat them....so I've gone full circle back to the mower plan! All advice gratefully received.

31/05/2014 at 21:02

HI ellerslie. I think you've already got the mower for the job- the flymo. They're just the thing for dodgy slopes if you're small. Been there and done it! Anything heavy can just slide away from you too easily. Little and often is the best way although it will feel like you're spending the summer cutting grass and nothing else! 

Or sheep...

31/05/2014 at 21:04

Thank you Fairygirl! I'll stick to the Flymo and get myself some spiked boots to make sure I don't go tumbling down the slope!!

31/05/2014 at 21:05

I've seen someone cutting grass on a steep slope using a flymo.  They had it on the end of a rope and stood at the top swinging it from side to side.  'Brilliant!' , thought I.

31/05/2014 at 21:22

Thanks Steve 309 - I just had a peek at You Tube and see what you mean!! Looks like I'll be adding a rope and some really grippy strong gloves to my shopping list too!

01/06/2014 at 21:39

Probably stating the obvious but the 'rope and swing the Flymo' works best with a petrol mower as you don't have the risk of running over the cable.

Do be very careful when using spiked footwear.  A friend's husband very seriously damaged his knee when he lost balance on the type of slope referred to by the OP.  He fell and twisted sideways but the spikes unfortunately did their job very well and kept his foot exactly where it was!

01/06/2014 at 21:41

Ouch! 

How about loosely twisting the flex round the rope?

I suspect a petrol mower would be too heavy for ellerslie?  And the fuel feed might not work on a steep slope.

02/06/2014 at 06:37

I would seriously consider getting someone in to mow the lawns. There's no point in having a stupid accident and ending up not being able to enjoy the rest of the Lake District.

02/06/2014 at 07:02

A mower on a rope sounds like a recipe for a bad back to me. I would get someone in to mow the lawns.

02/06/2014 at 07:21

I suppose it's out of the question to terrace the slope and plant it up?  Probably a bigger job than you want to tackle just yet ........ 

02/06/2014 at 11:42

depends how steep the slope is, but going side to side is easier than up and down if you get my drift. 

If it's so steep going sideways would risk tipping over, i'd say get a professional in, you don't want to be pushing a mower up or down a steep slope if there is a risk you might lose control or footing. 

If you are going to be there long term i'd go with dove, and look into terracing it.

Have a look at the photos of Carrol Kleins glebe cottage on the net, for suggestions of what to do with a really steep slopping garden.

02/06/2014 at 17:24

"

How about loosely twisting the flex round the rope?

I suspect a petrol mower would be too heavy for ellerslie?  And the fuel feed might not work on a steep slope."

Not a bad idea about the flex.  Electric would be much lighter than petrol, but I don't think the slope would affect the fuel feed.

02/06/2014 at 19:52

On most mowers you wouldn't be able to swing it on a rope as they are designed with 'dead man's handles', i.e. you have to have hold of the handlebar all the time to keep the engine running. I have seen idiots get round this by tying the handle in the 'on' position with a bungy elastic or gaffer tape. This is a recipe for cutting lumps off your own feet.

Get a grip - pay someone else to have the accident - at least they might be insured (but don't let them do the tying the handle trick on your property!)

02/06/2014 at 22:02

Takes me back a bit.  When I was working at Castlewood, part of the ancient woodlands in South London.  We had  a few steep grassed slopes.  Of cource in those days.  Flymo hadn't been invented.  Even if had been in existance.  Could you imagine, trailing miles of electric cable behind you.  Come to think of it.  In those days.  Someone might ask you the way, leave you without your braces.  More than not.  We would tie a rope to a rough-cut mower. That was a Ransom's four bladed, push pull mower.  You know.. It always sounded as if the blades were hitting the sole plate.  Standing at the top of the slope, the mower would be allowed to glide down the slope.  Haul it back and continue.  Then, yours truly, came up with the idea.  Let's use a Hayter petrol mower.  This proved a success.  However when the Superintendant realised, we had time for a smoke.  Soon another task would be delegated.  Mick.  Keep your mouth shut!!!  For health and safety reasons.  Never try using spikes etc.

03/06/2014 at 00:29

DANGER!  If you use a hover mower on a steep slope and walk down the slope with the mower in front of you, then you are in danger. Should your feet slip down the slope, you end up under the mower. Best plan, pay someone to do it, second best plan, cut along the slope, not up and down. You can lower a hover mower down a slope which works well but as has been said before, you risk cutting the flex on an electric model, or a hernia from hauling a petrol model. Either way you would need to override the dead man's handle, and that is never a good idea.

If the slope is really steep, don't grow grass on it.

03/06/2014 at 07:53

The house further down the lane had the exact same issue.. His solution was the rope and a flymo - the result was mangled toes on his right foot . Be careful.. If your going to do this (even without the rope) proper footwear is essential. Steel cap toes rather than crocs or flip flops.

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