Dad’s lawn dethatcher tips and tricks (Best Lawn Series)
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Today I am sharing my dad’s lawn dethatcher tips and tricks that won’t break the bank, which is part of our Best Lawn Series. What is a lawn dethatcher? It’s basically a tool that you add to the back of your lawn mower and it digs up all the dead grass, allowing new grass to grow once seeded. You can purchase an inexpensive tag along detacher like we have below and fix your grass quickly and easily.
Is your lawn soil really hard, full of weeds and just overall tired looking? Want to learn how to dethatch a large lawn?
Check out our DIY lawn dethatching ideas:
My Dad’s Lawn Dethatcher Tips
Our lawn seems to be in desperate need of dethatching every Spring. This is where a yard dethatcher and aerator that hooks onto your lawn mower (tow behind) comes in handy.
You can rent power dethatchers (dethatcher rental vary) or hire a professional but the good old fashioned way (kind of a homemade way) has always worked for us. My dad’s lawn dethatcher that attaches to the back of our lawn mower and is older than dirt. If you do not want to do this yourself, search dethatcher rentals in your area. If you are looking to purchase a dethatcher attachment, I suggest checking out the links I provide here in this post.
It pulls behind the lawn mower (tow behind dethatcher) and digs up all the dead grass. Call me crazy but I love watching all the dead grass get dug up.
A lawn dethatcher and aerator (this is a great aerator) are the two must have yard tools if you want a lush green lawn. A tow behind lawn dethatcher or aerator will make your life so much easier vs renting one. Plus, if you purchase a tow behind, you will have it year after year.
This image above is from previous year (check out this post where I talked about the yard project killing me and the budget). We removed all the dead trees and brush and you can see the dead lawn. It was thick yellow dead grass and weeds.
From far away it didn’t look that bad (like really far away) but up close, totally disgusting.
If you remember, we hired a company to remove the dead trees (see below) and overgrowth.
The yard excavation was extensive and ate up all of our time and budget so the existing lawn took a backseat to being repaired.
Want to dethatch your lawn this weekend? Follow my dad’s lawn dethatcher tips and you will have a beautiful lawn in no time.
How to dethatch a lawn with a mower attachment
Once we picked up all the limbs and sticks from the lawn, my dad started to dethatch the lawn with the lawn mower. You will need to hand rake any areas where the dethatcher cannot physically fit. For example, near flower beds, walkways and along the driveway.
The lawn dethatcher tines (the metal pointy things that dig into the ground) are very sharp and will scratch any hard surface and destroy your flower bed edge, so don’t get too close!
You simple attach the lawn dethatcher to the mower (your mower should have a small hole for a hitch attachment on the back). Note the hitch pin above that attaches to the mower.
How to Dethatch A Lawn
When to dethatch lawn
The lawn dethatcher metal tines essentially dig up the dead grass. You could never hand rake a large yard and loosen the soil to the extent of a dethatcher. Typically the end of summer and fall is a good time if live in the northern part of the country. I’ll be honest, we have done it in the spring as well and it still helps our grass regardless.
I absolutely love this picture above. You can see the thatched lawn on the right (the part my dad already dug up) and the gross lawn that isn’t dethatched on the left.
You will need to weigh down the dethatcher with cement blocks.
My Dad’s dethatcher Tips:
- We use a bungee cord to keep the blocks in place.
- You must raise the lawn dethatcher (dethatcher rake) using the adjustable bar before crossing a patio or driveway. The sharp tines will scratch your driveway!
- When to dethatch your lawn? Early Spring or Fall is the perfect time to dethatch your lawn.
Where to buy a lawn dethatcher
The best lawn dethatcher will have metal tines that are sturdy with sharp ends. You can see how the metal tines dig into the ground and loosen up the soil.
I found this affordable lawn mower dethatcher below on Amazon. It’s very similar to the one we have. Most lawn and garden centers will also carry them for sale.
If you are interested our lawn mower dethatcher attachment shown above, this one very similar to the one we have. I have also linked a couple others here. Just be sure you get the correct length based on the size you want. Find several more dethatcher options here that I have rounded up.
Once my dad was done dethatching the lawn, we removed the dethatcher and attached the lawn mower bagger in order to pick up all the dead grass.
Can you imagine hand raking all the dead grass? A lawn dethatcher rake attachment will save your arms!
I’m thinking no way. My dad sucked up all the dead grass with the lawn mower and I removed and emptied the full bags.
New Lawn Care tips
There were many areas of the lawn my dad could not dethatch.
The newer lawn installed last year is still very thin in areas and you do not want to tear it up so we gently hand raked it in preparation for overseeding.
Now that the lawn is dethatched in the front yard (the backyard is happening this weekend) it is ready for grass seed in certain areas.
I snapped this picture right before we started working in the yard. I had just picked my parents up from their trip to St. Lucia. While many would get home from a vacation and “rest,” my dad was ready to get working in the yard.
Lawn Dethatcher Yard Update 2023!
Updated: Fast forward to the end of the summer and check out how our yard (see below) is doing sporting lush green grass (click here) thanks to the on-going lawn thatching process and aeration.
We recently installed driveway entrance columns (picture above) and I am sharing how to plant planters on top of the driveway columns so come take a look.
I promise, the yard looks so much better than these lawn dethatching pictures!
Getting your grass seed down in early Spring is best. This way the grass has time to grow before the hot dry weather arrives. My dad’s lawn dethatcher fixed our gross lawn in about 2 hours total. An hour to dethatch the lawn and an hour to suck up the dead grass with the bagger. The Best Lawn Series part 2 happens this weekend so stay tuned for more tips and tricks.
This is an amazing before and after transformation. Gorgeous white cabinets, harmon pendants, quartzite super white counters and backsplash. width=600 height=397 /
Table of Contents:
Universal trimmer/edger attachments
Lawn mower attachments are devices you can add to a lawn mower to increase its functionality. Blowers, grass-clipping bags, lawn mower attachments for leaves, mulching kits, and universal trimmer and edger attachments are among them. These attachments make it easier to complete yard work in a quicker and more efficient manner.
A blower attachment for a push lawn mower is helpful in clearing leaves and debris from your lawn. It makes it easier to get into tight and complicated to-reach spots. Plus, the powerful flow of air helps you move debris. An example is leaves wet from morning dew or those stuck in corners and against walls and fences. Wet and damp leaves are often difficult to move. The reason is that the weight and stickiness of wet grass clippings can bog down your lawn mower blades. A blower attachment will make light work in clearing leaves and debris from your lawn.
A grass-clipping bag will help you reduce mess and simplify your gardening routine. Clippings in the bag cannot be blown around by the wind or tracked into your home or other parts of the garden. They will be collected in the bag rather than being blown around or becoming trapped in plants or flower beds. The grass-clipping bag stores and transports grass clippings for easy disposal. So, you’ll have more free time available to enjoy your garden instead of dealing with covered landscapes and messy lawns.
Are Lawn Mower Bags Really Universal?
One of the most common questions about lawn mower bags is whether they are universal and can fit all types of mowers. The answer is no. Lawn mower bags are not universal, and it’s essential to choose a bag that matches the brand and model of your mower.
Each brand and model of mower has a specific size and shape of the discharge chute, which the lawn mower bag attaches to. Using a bag that doesn’t fit properly may cause the bag to fall off during mowing, resulting in a messy lawn.
So, before purchasing a lawn mower bag, check the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure that the bag fits your mower. You can also measure the discharge chute of your mower and compare it to the dimensions of the bag you want to purchase.
Mulching kits also provide significant advantages. A mulching kit can improve the health of your lawn. Mulching helps to reduce water runoff and keeps the soil loose and breathable. It allows essential minerals and nutrients to reach down deep into the roots of the grass. It also allows harmful weed seeds to be trapped in mulch instead of reaching the soil. So, it minimizes new weed growth.
Mulching is a friendly practice. You chip up grass clippings into tiny pieces. The pieces remain on the lawn, making for less waste and healthier grass. By using a mulching kit, you can reduce your carbon footprint. Mulching reduces your use of fertilizers, herbicides, and other harmful products.
A universal trimmer and edger attachment is an easy-to-use device. An example of such an attachment is Trimyxs. It allows you to extend the capabilities of your lawn mower. Making the most out of your mower has never been easier. It saves you a significant amount of your trimming time. This attachment is ergonomically friendly. By mounting it to your walk-behind lawn mower, it allows less wear and fatigue on your body. It takes a matter of seconds to convert the trimmer into an edger.
Lawn mower attachments are a great way to enhance your mowing experience and save time. With the right attachments, you can mow your lawn faster, perform more detailed work, and get better results. The attachments can make mowing a more enjoyable experience by reducing the time and effort you need to put in. Whether you’re a professional landscaper or a weekend warrior, lawn mower attachments are a worthwhile investment.
What lawn mower attachments do you use?
Easy DIY lawn mower repairs
A typical high quality walk-behind lawnmower should provide excellent lawn care for at least eight to 10 years with proper maintenance. Some cheaper models have a life expectancy of four to five years.
The frequency of use, size of your yard, length of your grass, and bumpiness of the terrain can all play a role in a mower’s lifespan. Many lawnmowers have a manufacturer’s expected lifespan in hours as opposed to years.
Many common problems with walk-behind lawn mowers can either be avoided with proper maintenance or executed with only basic DIY aptitude. In this article, we’ll explore the lawnmower issues you’re most likely to run into and the best ways to DIY the repairs.
What’s Wrong With My Lawn Mower?
There are several signs that your lawn mower could have a common malfunction.
Lawn mower won’t start or often stalls
If your lawn mower won’t start or quickly stalls out with use, it likely has to do with the unit’s power source. A faulty or worn battery can fail to start the engine in a gasoline mower or to power the machine in an electric model. Mowers that run on gas could have any number of other issues including no gas in the tank, old fuel, or a clogged fuel cap or fuel line.
Other possible problems include a fouled spark plug or dirty air filter or fuel filter. expensive parts that can fail include the fuel pump, carburetor, ignition switch, recoil (pull cord starters), or starter solenoid.
If the opposite problem occurs—the mower starts but won’t turn off—it could be a disconnected ground wire or faulty ignition switch.
Pull-cord starter won’t function
When your pull cord fails to start the motor, there are a couple of fairly simple possible fixes. The flywheel brake control engages power from the motor to the cutting blade. If it is accidentally left engaged, the pull cord will not start the mower until it is disengaged.
It’s also possible that the blade assembly is clogged with grass which can prevent the mower from starting. Simply disengage the spark plug and thoroughly clean under the mower.
Lawn mower is overheating
If the heat is noticeable or causes the mower to shut down, it could be that grass clippings and debris have affected the air fins’ ability to move heat away from the engine. Make sure to swiftly address the problem as it could lead to major repairs if left untreated. Often, just letting it cool and wiping away buildup from the fins will allow it to function properly.
Lawn mower cuts poorly or unevenly
Never cut grass when it is wet as it will be cut poorly and may clog the mower. If the grass is unusually long, set the mower higher, move through it more slowly, and cut twice at two different levels. A buildup of grass and debris on the undercarriage of the mower deck can also cause poor performance.
If the mower is cutting unevenly, check that the wheels are all on the same setting and replace any wheel that is damaged.
Dull blades can cause problems and should be sharpened before continuing to mow. If the blade is chipped, bent or otherwise damaged, replace it.
Lawn mower vibrates excessively
When a mower is vibrating excessively, first check for debris lodged in the undercarriage of the mower deck or whether some foreign material is wrapped around the blade spindle. Loose or missing engine mounting bolts; an unbalanced, loose or damaged blade; or a worn drive belt or pulley could also be the culprit.
significant problems such as a faulty clutch or damaged blade spindle bearing are other, more expensive possibilities.
Lawn mower self-propulsion fails or lacks normal speed
If your mower is running but the self-propulsion fails, the drive belt or drive control cable might be faulty. A stretched or damaged drive belt can cause slippage and poor performance in the self-propelled mode. Inspect the belt or cable and replace it if necessary.
Lawn mower leaks oil or gas
If your lawn mower engine compartment smokes, it is likely leaking oil onto hot engine parts such as the muffler. Let the engine cool and inspect for visual leaks. Check the oil reservoir to make certain it is not overfilled or cracked, and that the cap was secured tightly. Also, in two-cycle engines, an improper fuel/oil mix can cause the mower to smoke.
If you smell gas, immediately shut off the mower and let it cool to prevent fires. It could be a problem with the gas cap, fuel filter, or fuel line. Other more expensive repairs include a faulty carburetor, fuel pump, or fuel tank. Find the source of the leak and repair it before using it.
Lawn mower engine surge
If the engine throttles up uncontrollably in your mower, it probably signals a problem with the fuel system or vacuum leaks. The most likely problems are contaminated gasoline, a clogged gas cap vent, a dirty air filter or carburetor, or a damaged air intake gasket. For more specifics, follow this troubleshooting guide.
Common Lawn Mower Issues and How to Solve Them
Cleaning your mower is critical for gas- or battery-powered models, often preventing many types of repairs and stress on mechanical features. Cleaning grass and debris from metal parts can help prevent corrosion. Regularly sharpening the cutting blade will help with optimal performance and place less strain on the engine.
Regular mower maintenance is especially critical for gasoline-powered small engines. Keeping fresh fuel in the tank, using quality engine oil and changing it regularly, and replacing filters and spark plugs when necessary will help your lawn mower run more efficiently and extend the engine’s life.
Fuel that contains more than 10% ethanol is hard on small engines in lawn equipment and can have a corrosive effect on fuel lines and plastic parts. If you cannot access non-ethanol or 10% or lower ethanol fuel, make sure to use a fuel stabilizer, which prevents corrosion and removes moisture.
In electric mowers with a lithium-ion battery, the power source is often rated for up to five years of use, and replacing the battery could extend your mower’s life for another four or five years.
When deciding whether to repair or replace a mower, always balance the cost of the repair— including whether it is covered partially or fully by warranty—against the age of the machine.
It’s probably well worth making minor repairs well past the three-year mark, but making a significantly costly repair for a lawnmower more than three years old is often not recommended. If the machine is nearing eight years old, it’s usually only worth making minor repairs.
When you need to maintain or repair your lawn mower, many products and parts are available through Sears PartsDirect.
What Tools Will I Need to Fix My Lawn Mower?
Most maintenance and repair work on a walk-behind lawn mower, including its small engine, takes only a handful of tools. Start with a basic socket set, a screwdriver with multiple bits, and some channellock pliers.
Find the proper spark plug socket for your model and a plug gap tool. A putty knife and wire brush are handy for cleaning grass buildup and debris from the underside of the mower deck.
If you’re going to take on regular sharpening of the blade, you’ll need a blade file. It’s easy to unbalance the blade if your skills are not sharp, so a blade balancing tool might be helpful.
If you’re changing oil or draining fuel, see how difficult the fill cap areas are to access and get the right length and diameter of funnel.
Best Practices for Fixing a Lawnmower Yourself
Replacing a lawn mower blade
If you hit a rock or other hard object when mowing, inspect the blade to see if it’s bent or chipped; if so, replace it. Blades become dull through usage. You can sharpen it yourself, but make certain not to take more off of one side than the other or you’ll throw the blade off balance. Even if you are a master sharpener, eventually the blade wears down and must be replaced.
Follow these instructions in our DIY repair guide How to replace a lawn mower blade.
Replacing a lawn mower wheel
If a wheel on your lawn mower is damaged or is so worn that the wheel slides instead of rolls, replace the wheel. Follow the instructions in our DIY repair guide: How to replace a lawn mower wheel.
Replacing a lawn mower spark plug
The spark plug ignites the air and fuel mixture in the lawn mower’s engine. Replace the spark plug every season or as often as directed in your owner’s manual. Also replace the spark plug if it’s damaged or fouled by oil, which can make it hard to start the mower or make the mower sputter. See our DIY repair guide: How to replace a lawn mower spark plug.
Replacing a lawn mower drive belt
The drive belt on a lawn mower connects the engine to the gear case, which rotates and propels the mower forward. To replace the drive belt, see our DIY repair guide: How to replace a lawn mower drive belt.
Replacing a lawn mower recoil starter
Pulling the rope on the recoil starter makes the crankshaft spin and helps start the engine. If the crankshaft doesn’t spin, the recoil starter is probably broken.
On pre-2014 mowers, just getting to the recoil starter can be difficult, but if your mower has an overhead valve engine produced after 2014, this part is much more accessible. Consult our DIY guide: How to replace a lawn mower recoil starter on an OHV engine.
Replacing a lawn mower carburetor
The carburetor mixes fuel with air and then sends the fuel mix into the engine cylinder where it combusts to drive the piston. If the carburetor is clogged or damaged, the engine receives an improper mixture that prevents it from starting or causes it to run roughly. To replace the carburetor, consult our DIY repair guide: How to replace a lawn mower carburetor.
Sears Has the Parts You Need to Get the Job Done Right
Whether you have a walk-behind lawn mower or a riding lawn mower, Sears PartsDirect stocks maintenance kits and replacement parts for the models of most leading manufacturers. We have the resources you need to complete your repairs and projects yourself.
Riding Mower Attachments (what to own, what to avoid)
If you have a riding mower you probably either own attachments or are considering purchasing some. In today’s article I’ll talk about some of the most common riding mower attachments and I’ll discuss which ones are worth owning.
The reality is that some equipment is essential and well worth the investment and the space it will occupy in your garage or storage shed, but other riding mower add-ons simply won’t be used often enough to justify the purchase (you can spend that money better elsewhere).
I’ll go through everything you need to know here so you can make the best decisions when upgrading your mowing equipment.
First Thing’s First – Sizing Compatibility
Before you buy any attachments for your riding mower, make sure that they are compatible with the model you own.
You wouldn’t believe how many people email me asking why the attachment they purchased didn’t fit … well, it’s built for a different mower!
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Why Upgrade Your Riding Mower with Attachments?
One of the main purposes of getting attachments for a riding mower is to help the mower do more than just cut grass.
But more generally, we buy lawn equipment to make our life easier, and to accelerate the pace at which we can complete lawn care projects around the house.
Less time working on the lawn, more time enjoying the lawn. That’s the goal, right?
There are many different functions your mower can fulfill if you have the right attachments for it.
In many cases, whether an attachment is worthwhile for you will depend on the size of your property (how large it is). For example, a lawn sweeper will probably only be useful if you have an especially large area. If you don’t, it probably won’t be worth the cost and the trouble of having to store it.
Keep in mind that many of these attachments are quite large, so unless you have unlimited storage space, you will usually need to pick and choose, purchasing only the attachments that are specifically best for you.
If you have a zero-turn riding (ZTR) mower, you will find there is a more limited selection of attachments available than you might find for garden tractors and lawn tractors.
Now, let’s get into the nitty gritty.
Riding Mower Attachments
Here’s a list of some of the most popular and useful attachments for riding mowers (in no particular order).
You can get aerator attachments for your riding mower that will give your lawn the aeration it needs.
Aeration helps prepare your lawn for fertilization and reseeding. It is process in which small holes are put in the ground, allowing for better air circulation and water and fertilizer penetration. This will make your grass roots stronger and healthier.
Buying an aerator attachment for your mower is a good investment in most cases. It will mean you always have an aerator on hand whenever you want to aerate your lawn during the course of the year. And the ability to purchase this attachment is one key advantage to riding mowers (it’s not an option on a walk-behind mower).
Aerator attachments vary in size, with between 40 and 48 inches in width being very common. Keep this in mind when planning where you will store it in your garage.
Aerator attachments for riding mowers can vary quite a bit in cost. They generally range from around 100 or 150 to 750. I like and recommend this model from Agri-Fab. It’s 48 inches wide and does a nice job.
In this article I compare spike vs plug aerators, to help you determine which style tow-behind aerator may be best for you.
A bagger is a very common mower attachment. This is a useful attachment, as it makes collecting lawn clippings very easy.
You can get baggers in different sizes, including 9-bushel triple baggers and 6-bushel twin baggers. When deciding on what size of attachment to get, consider the size of your lawn.
Bagger attachments can be rather large. For example, it may be about 42 inches X 46 inches. You will need to find storage space for this, so plan this out before making your purchase.
These attachments can sometimes be quite expensive as well. In some cases, they can be as much as 500 or more, and in my experience many people are frustrated by the capacity of the leaf baggers they get from the manufacturer … it never seems like enough.
When a Simple Bagging Attachment Isn’t Enough
I have large maple trees on my property which drop a ton of leaves, and while I usual mulch and bag with my self-propelled Honda mower, I borrowed my dad’s rig one year and he has a large lawn tractor leaf bag like this one on Amazon which fits over his factory leaf bagger attachment. It allowed me to clear my front and back yard of leaves in a snap.
As long as you’re strong enough to muscle the full bag, it’s a great way to super-charge your leaf clean up, and I recommend looking into something like that if leaf clean up is a big job at your home.
If you don’t have a very large lawn, buying a bagger attachment is probably a waste of money for you – you may be better served by investing in a quality leaf blower that will take up less space (and is much more fun to use).
There are a lot of good backpack blowers on the market, but I’ve only used my PB-770T from Echo (Amazon link) because it has never given me reason to use anything else. I can recommend that model if you’re in the market for a backpack blower and are having trouble choosing one.
A lawn roller attachment is useful for getting your lawn back into shape after the winter. It will even out any parts of the ground that have been damaged in the cold weather.
The roll of a lawn roller is filled with sand or water to give it the necessary weight to press down and level your lawn as you drive across it. I generally recommend using water as you can empty it out when you’re finished (making the roller lightweight and easy to handle as you put it away.
If you ever need to put down sod, you can use the lawn roller to get your ground prepared and even for this process. You can also use it for tasks such as pressing seeds you have planted deeper into the soil to ensure good soil-to-seed contact for optimum germination.
DIY Dethatching Using 15” Sunjoe Dethatcher & Scarifier | Spring & Fall Lawn Care
There are lawn rollers available with different abilities and in different sizes. I use this one from Brinly by pushing it across my lawn, but it has a tow option as well. I love that it will work as a walk-behind roller or as an attachment for your riding lawn mower. There are always some areas of your property that are tough to get to on a riding mower while towing a piece of equipment.
A dethatcher attachment is a fantastic attachment to have if you ever need to dethatch your lawn.
Dethatching is a process in which you remove matted grass and other kinds of debris from your lawn. This is essential for new growth to take place, and when you dethatch just prior to overseeding you’ll see great results.
Using a dethatcher attachment will make the dethatching process easy and a lot less effort than it would be otherwise. You will be able to get rid of barriers that are stopping your lawn from getting all the nutrients, water, and air it needs.
A dethatcher attachment is quite large (for example, about 40 inches wide), and it’s a bit unwieldly because of its design, but there are a few options which are better than anything else you’ll find out there.
Check out my list of the best lawn dethatchers – there are three tow-behind models that stand out as being great options.
A disc harrow is ideal for getting your garden beds ready for replanting. You can also use it to break up hard ground to begin a new garden.
Having a disc harrow attachment will come in handy when you want to prepare your garden beds for replanting. It’s also useful for breaking up hard ground when you want to start a new garden, or complete a lawn renovation by killing your existing lawn and starting over.
Truth be told, this isn’t an attachment you’ll want unless you have a very large garden area, but it’s worth including in the list because it can save time and prevent you from wrestling with a rototiller.
We should all regularly fertilize our lawns in order to keep them healthy and beautiful. If you have a large lawn (which you probably do as you have a riding mower), it might be a good idea to buy a spreader attachment (you can see my favorite one right here).
An example of a spreader attachment is a tow-behind broadcast spreader. Using a spreader attachment will make it much easier for you to fertilize your lawn whenever you do so during the year. You can also spread good seed over your lawn, spread lime, iron, and other soil amendments with this attachment, making it a solid investment.
Spreader attachments come in different sizes, some of which are smaller than other kinds of riding mower attachments. Agri-Fab makes a good one.
If you live in a region that gets a lot of snow in the winter, it might be worth your while to get a snow blower attachment for your riding mower. This will make it easy to plow through all the snow that collects on your property.
You will be grateful you have this the next time you need to clear a driveway or pavement, and this is one attachment that can really extend the value of your riding mower, making it a year-round asset to your property.
Snowblower attachments are just as large as many other riding mower attachments, and they can be quite heavy, but if you live in a northern climate and have a large driveway it’s worth the cost and the space in your garage.
I can say from experience that if you’re buying a plow kit or snow blower for your lawn tractor it’s a good idea to invest in some snow chains for your tires as well. Most tires on riding mowers aren’t built for snow, and you’ll be frustrated with your investment unless you can get good traction. It’s worth the extra money. Measure your tires before you order, but these ones on Amazon will work for most riding mowers.
How to Dethatch your Lawn. Raking vs Power Dethatcher. Easy with Tips! Lawn Lessons #1
If you have a large property and spend long periods of time outside doing mowing, think about getting a canopy. A canopy attaches to your mower to give you shade from the sun, and usually can be attached to any mower with a roll bar.
The canopy attachments for many riding mowers are collapsible, so they don’t take up too much storage space, and if you leave it on your mower it doesn’t increase the footprint of your mower at all.
Most manufacturers will sell you a canopy and roll bar that’s made to fit with your mower, but there are third-party universal canopies like this one that may work for you as well.
Attachments I would Only Consider for Large Properties
The attachments below are usually only worth buying if you have quite an expansive property. Buying them if you only have a small lawn will most likely be a waste of money.
Trail Cutter or Trail Mower
A trail cutter or trail mower is really only worth considering if you have an extensive property.
This attachment will reduce the amount of time it takes to mow your grounds. You can also use it to clear paths through saplings and brush.
If you have any places that need heavy cutting power, a trail cutter or trail mower is a good investment. Swisher makes a solid one, which you can see demonstrated in the short video below from Piney Life:
A lawn sweeper attachment will gather leaves, pine needles, pine-cones, acorns, and other types of debris in your yard. You can also use it to sweep up grass clippings after you mow.
When the lawn sweeper gathers this debris, it uses a rotating sweeper brush to put it into a hopper bag. When you see that this bag is full, simply empty it.
You can find lawn sweepers in different sizes, but they do tend to require a decent amount of storage space.
The cost of a lawn sweeper can range from 150, for example, to 700. It’s probably not worth your while to buy a lawn sweeper if you don’t have a very large property.
Many riding mower owners like to have a cart attachment. You might call this a utility trailer or dump cart. You can use this kind of attachment for tasks such as hauling soil or garbage, garden tools, or mulch in your garden.
If you have a large property and do a lot of garden work, a cart attachment might be a good investment for you, but if you already have a wheelbarrow and don’t mind using it, you probably don’t need one.
Some carts are quite large and they have deep containers, meaning it might be challenging to store if you don’t have a large garage. If you’re interested in a good one, my dad owns the Agri-Fab 45-0101 (pictured), and he likes it.
Which Riding Mower Attachments Are Right for Your Lawn?
It’s clear that the types of attachments that you should consider getting for your riding mower depend on the size of your property.
The type of soil that you have will also play a role, however.
If you have a sandy lot, you may not have to invest in an aerator. You may be better off investing in a spreader to easily top-dress with compost.
If your lot is heavy clay, than an aerator will be essential.
Big trees? Get the lawn sweeper – you’ll thank me every fall.
Another factor you need to consider before you purchase any riding mower attachment is storage space. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you have more attachments than you have places to put them. And be sure that you leave room in your garage to comfortably maintain your mower every spring (even if there isn’t room to park your car in there).
Nobody likes having a garage they can’t use.
by Sarah The Lawn Chick
Sarah’s blog, Lawn Chick, is read by over 2 million homeowners each year and she is regularly cited as an expert source of lawn care knowledge by major publications. Her goal is to meet you where you are, and help you achieve a yard you’ll be proud of. Ready to take the next step toward improving your lawn? Grab her free lawn care cheat-sheet: What to Do When. Take the Guesswork Out of Lawn Care, or upgrade your garage by browsing her favorite DIY lawn care products.
thoughts on “ Riding Mower Attachments (what to own, what to avoid) ”
I was reading your April 2020 blog about Milo and Ironite….I couldn’t find anywhere to comment on that article. I wanted to ask you a question….in the article you say “I use Milorganite 4 times per year on my yard, and I supplement with a different iron supplement called Dr. Iron (Amazon link).” I was wondering HOW you supplement with Dr Iron….I do the same as you with Milo so WHEN and how much do you use Dr. Iron? Thank you….from one woman to another! Patti
Hi, Patti! Sorry about the comment situation – I’ll look into that and get it resolved this week. To your question – I do a soil test every spring and let those results guide me toward whether I need to do an Iron application in the spring (I usually choose to once every other year or so), and then I typically do one mid or late June because I have people over on the 4th of July and I want my lawn looking its best (that gives it time to take effect). Beyond that I might do it when my lawn starts to look a little tired, or if I’m having a party or gathering I apply it a few weeks beforehand to give it that nice dark green. There have been some years when I’ve just applied Dr. Iron with my Milorganite on every application and that has worked well too. If I’m applying that often I’d suggest using 1/2 the recommended quantity of Dr. Iron and just adjusting your spreader settings to reflect that and still get nice even coverage. If I’m doing the application at the same time as Milo I do them in two separate passes so I get nice even results and I don’t get clumps of Iron coming out here and there by mixing the two products. Hope this helps, and best of luck with your lawn this year! Thanks for visiting my blog.
Welcome to my blog!
Hi, my name is Sarah and I’m the chick behind LawnChick.com.
I’m glad you decided to visit and I hope you find the tips and advice about lawn care and maintenance that I this blog helpful.
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