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Successful Mowing with a Reel Mower


Related Links ::

- Ask the Lawn Doctor
- Lawn Links


A beautiful, thriving lawn begins with the proper cut.

Turf grass forms a dense interwoven network of growth just above soil level - a key element, in addition to the dense root structure, of turf's ability to retain moisture and crowd out weeds. A dense turf keeps out weeds through competition for sunlight and nutrients. A weak, thin turf allows weed seeds to germinate and grow. Proper mowing encourages a dense stand of grass plants.

Here's a guide for mowing with your Brill Razorcut Reel mower ::

The right grass height for reel a mower to cut :

correct grass height for reel mowersCommon recommendations are for Rotary Mowers :
For over 200 years, before the rotary power mower, hardly a lawn on earth was mowed higher than 1.5 inches! Today's common mowing height recommendations are generally based on the requirements of the common rotary power mower (90% of the U.S., market) rather than the grass itself.

Rotary Mowers damage grass at lower settings :
Rotary power-mowed lawns must be mowed higher to compensate for the repeated disturbance to the lawn as well as to avoid browning and scalping injury. The rotary blade cuts the grass blade on impact. It causes a degree of mutilation and injury to the leaf blade at the point of impact. The industry understands that rotary mowers cannot give a quality cut lower than 1.5 inch Mowing heights.

Reel mowers can and should mow lower :
With a reel mower you may always cut to the lowest recommended height and be confident of a naturally healthy lawn. You can usually mow a grass that spreads horizontally shorter than an upright-growing bunch-type grass. Grasses with narrow blades can generally be mowed closer than grasses with wide blades. Mow turf grasses under stress — such as heat, drought or shade — at a higher level of cut. Reel mowers have been proven over 200 years of worldwide use at these lower heights.

Mowing Frequency :

Mow regularly :
A good rule-of-thumb is to remove no more than one-third of the grass height at any one mowing. For example, if you are maintaining your lawn at 2 inches, mow the lawn when it is about 3 inches high. Cutting off more than one-third at one time can stop the roots from growing and would require frequent watering during dry summers to keep the plants alive. Also, following the one-third rule will produce smaller clippings that will disappear quickly by filtering down to the soil surface.

Accu Note ::
The accu mows thru overgrown grass with ease. It won't be perfect, and you will go thru the battery quicker, but it is much easier with an electrically driven reel!
-So if you are an erradic mower and still want a reel...the Accu is a better choice.

So, You went on vacation :
If the grass becomes too tall between mowings, raise the mowing height and then gradually reduce it until the recommended height is reached. Push reel lawn mowers are not made to cut very high grass, although they are capable if you have extra time and energy. They cut best when the lawn is 2.5 to 4.0 inches high. If your lawn is overgrown, for best results, overlap your next cut by about a third of the width of the Brill's blades.

For Overgrown Lawns Use The Grass Catcher :
When the grass is very high, we recommend using the Brill grass catcher. The grass catcher will prevent the blades from filling up with long grass, and you can use the clippings in your compost to make fertilizer. If the blades do fill up, clear the grass with a gloved hand or brush. Also, check the mower for grass clumps when you are done.



First Time Mowing Tips :

Sticks and Stones....

Like any lawn mower, reel or rotary, the Brill is not made to mow over sticks, stones or hard objects. If you have lots of trees and can't pick up the sticks, then a reel mower is probably not for you.

Having problems :
When we hear about people who have been less than satisfied with their first experience mowing with a reel mower, inevitably the reasons are that the grass is too high or the lawn has not been cleared of sticks and stones or the lawn is too large or bumpy. If you know your grass is high, we suggest borrowing a neighbor's electric mower or hiring a lawn service for the first cut of the season. After the initial cut, mowing a lawn of a 6000 sq. feet or less with a Brill Luxus 38 should meet your mowing expectations.



Just Common Sense
Keep blades free of lawn debris by brushing with a gloved hand or brush. Keep moving parts lubricated with a silicone-type spray such WD-40 (spray before using).

5 Minute Annual Maintenance
Every 12-18 months you will notice the mower is not cutting as well as it did when it was new. This means it is time for you to take 5 minutes and adjust the blades. You will need the gauge ( a thin metal strip ) which was included with the wing nuts and bolts. We recommend keeping your gauge in a plastic bag inside your manual. But regardless of where you keep it, make sure you keep the gauge! The gauge determines the optimal distance between the bedknife and the reel blades

This gauge is regularly thrown away by customers (yup...even our web designer threw hers away)! So if you now realize you threw yours us for a replacement.

This small adjustment will keep your blades cutting precisely for the life of the mower.