Although mowing is key to keeping your lawn healthy and good looking, it isn't anything worth jumping up and down for when it comes time to doing it. As it turned out, the first time I mowed my lawn wasn't nearly as fun or exciting as Hank Hill made it out to be.
Maybe it was the beer.
So when Sundays come, I begrudgingly go into the tool shed, prepare the mower, and get to work. Overall, it usually takes anywhere between 45 minutes to a couple of hours, especially for a large lawn or one with unusual hard-to-reach crevices.
Sure, I could purchase riding mower, but those can cost thousands, and as someone who just graduated from college, that's probably not a realistic purchase for me. So how could I, as someone who's a bit lazy and a lot broke, make my lawn mowing experience much easier and a bit more exciting?
Aztecman set a stake in the middle of his lawn, tying one end of the rope around it, and the other end to the lawn mower. The throttle is also tied down with rope, and after turning the mower on, it's off on its own to roam free and do your dirty work for you.
Since the lawn mower is self-propelled, it moves without any help, and follows a set trajectory, inching closer and closer to the stake with every full revolution. Once the mower reaches the end, aztecman manually cut the center of the circle and the outer edges the mower couldn't reach by itself.
While aztecman got the job done, his lawn mower passed over the same patch of lawn quite often (as you can see in the video), mostly due to the thinness of the center stake.
If you want the mower to be as efficient as possible and not comb over the same section of grass, the center post (more likely a bundle of stakes) should almost be as thick as the width of your lawn mower. If you use the full width of your lawn mower, you'll get lawn mohawks, but using slightly under the full width, you'll get full cutting coverage.
In the video below, YouTube user Korey Atterberry implements this technique, by placing rope around several stakes situated in a small circle. As you can see, the results are much better—and it gets the job done much faster.
This gardening experiment is actually nothing new. Tying a lawn mower up to a stake dates back to when motor mowers were first coming out, and were common in the late '40s. Below is an excerpt from the 1948 December issue of Popular Mechanics covering a self-piloted mower.
In the background you can see Mr. Hansell chilling out in his lawn chair, watching his lawn mower go to work, while he presumably waits for his wife to get his dinner ready. If you want to be like Mr. Hansell and enjoy mowing your lawn without breaking a sweat, try it out and report back with your experience.
Hell, if you've got the money, you can even create this DIY Solar-Powered, RC Lawn Mower to play your lawn like a video game. As long as you don't have to stand in the hot sun and do any manual labor.
Isn't that what the American dream really is about?