Here in the Southeast, my front lawn is already starting to perk up in response to intimations of spring.
Those handsome green blades of fescue are yawning, stretching, and preparing to greet the season with exuberant, photosynthetic glee. It's gross. It means I'll soon have to make a hot mess of myself every week and a half as I wage fruitless war on this many headed hydra I call my lawn.
Sure, I could go with xeriscaping or a pear orchard instead, but I like grass, so do my dogs, and this is Nashville, TN. Someone might set my cactus and rock garden on fire before telling me it's bringing down property values on the street.
If only I knew a way to mow my lawn that didn't involve stanky fumes, petrol-soaked hands, and the baffling alchemy of mixing oil and gasoline. Oh wait, it's called an electric mower. They've been around for a couple decades now.
Reel mowers, also called manual or push mowers, are coming along nicely, as we can see in the Fiskars Momentum and the Brill. But many people will still want something that packs more punch. If that's you, an electric mower might be your thing.
Black & Decker has been making electric mowers since the 90s, but has just completed the first full redesign of its lineup. Three new mowers hit the market this year: a 19", 36 Volt cordless with a removable battery; a 18", 36 Volt model with a rear bag; and a 18", 12 Amp corded model.
Of course with electric mowers there are no miserable pull strings, no refueling, and no fuel mixing. Also, B&D's mowers can be folded and stored upright, which can't be said of gas models.
Black & Decker claims that its 36 Volt cordless mower can cuts a typical 1/3 acre residential lawn on a single charge. It's Energy Star charger will juice up a battery to near-full capacity in a few hours, and top it off with an overnight charge. Additional batteries can be purchased if you've got a bigger lawn.
If you aren't ready to recruit an army of autonomous solar mower-bots, and the quiet simplicity of a reel mower is not you, we suggest you ponder your electric options. In lieu of those trips to the gas station you could rig up a solar panel on your shed to charge the mower. Then at least your lawnmower is off grid.