Push mowers are best for mowing steep areas.

The Best Push Mowers for Ditches

by D. J. Bradford

Mowing a lawn isn't everyone's idea of fun, and a ditch can make it more of a challenge. Although riding mowers can be used near ditches, they are difficult and sometimes dangerous to maneuver on the banks of a ditch, making push mowers more practical for most ditch-mowing jobs.

1. Self-Propelled Mowers

For ditch banks with tall, thick or coarse grass and uneven or bumpy banks, self-propelled lawn mowers can make the task less burdensome. Instead of having to use all your strength to push through the thick grass or up a hill, you have the help of the mower's ability to propel itself. Self-propelled mowers come in front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive. Rear wheel drive is a better choice because it allows for better control and handling, especially when turning on an incline. Variable speeds and swivel front wheels can make using a self-propelled mower easier to use around ditches. Teach children to never touch or start one of these mowers without adult supervision.

2. Electric Mowers

If cutting down on emissions is important to you, but you still like the idea of the self-propelled mower, an electric mower might be the best choice. You can choose either corded or cordless electric mowers. With an electric mower, the distance of your ditch from the nearest power outlet may determine which kind you use. For ditches, it works about the same as the self-propelled gas-powered mower and is also good for tackling the tall, thick grass as long as it has adequate power.

3. Push Reel Mowers

The benefit of using a reel mower is that it doesn’t use any gasoline or electricity and you don't have to worry about emissions or batteries or cords to trip over. It works best for the ditches lined with grass that is not so tall and thick and ditch banks with fewer bumps. Reel mowers come in different widths. So, consider the size of the ditch bank and whether or not you will be mowing on an incline. If mowing on an incline parallel to the ditch, it may be better to use a narrower mower for easier handling on the slope. However, if mowing perpendicular to the ditch, a wider width will help you get the job done faster, unless the wider mower makes it heavier and harder for you to push up an incline. Also, the more blades your mower has, the faster it will be able to cut. Another plus is that it is safer around kids, although they should still not play around any garden equipment.

4. Using Push Mowers Near Ditches

Before you begin mowing any ditch, walk it to make sure there are no rocks or other debris that would become a threat to you or your mower. People can be injured by flying rocks and other hard debris, so make sure your mower’s safety features are functioning properly. Avoid mowing on inclines when the grass is wet, and wear shoes with reinforced toes to prevent injury should the mower back over your feet. Should you fall, let go of the mower immediately, especially if on an incline. This will help you avoid potential injury, particularly with a self-propelled mower. If you find you cannot mow to the edge of your ditch completely, use a trimmer to finish the job.

About the Author

D. J. is the author of two children’s books. She has written articles on a number of topics including home improvement, pet care, health and physiology. Besides having studied journalism, she has degrees in business management and biology.

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