How to Select a Lawn Mower for St. Augustine Grass


St. Augustine grass is a warm weather grass that gives a lawn a lush and green appearance. Although St. Augustine is a turf grass and hardy, it is not as difficult to cut as some other warm weather grasses. The choices for cutting St. Augustine grass are reel and power rotary mowers. A reel motor is pushed by hand and has a series of blades that rotate north and south. A rotary mower has one blade that spins horizontally. Both mowers will cut St. Augustine grass. Take into account several considerations when selecting the mower.

Reel vs. Rotary Mowers

  • Consider how much time you want to spend mowing your lawn. Take into account the size of the lawn. Be aware it will take longer to mow a lawn with a reel mower than a rotary mower. A reel mower is better for smaller lawns. The website recommends reel mowers for lawns 10,000 square feet or less.

  • Decide how attractive you want your St. Augustine grass lawn to look. A reel mower cuts the blades cleanly like a pair of scissors. A rotary mower rips the grass and can damage it. A lawn cut with a reel mower is healthier. The lawn will also be more attractive if you cut it with a reel mower.

  • Consider the contours of your lawn. Rotary mowers do not work as well as reel motors on lawns that are not flat. On the other hand, pushing a reel motor up a hill can tire you out.

  • Take into account the cost factors. Manual reel mowers tend to be less expensive to purchase. They also require far less upkeep than rotary mowers. Reel mowers are environmentally friendly. Unlike power mowers, reel mowers don't require oil and gas. Reel mowers are also quieter.

Reel Mower Considerations

  • Decide if you want a regular push reel mower or one that runs on electricity. An electric reel mower is a little easier to push but also weighs more.

  • Consider how big the lawn is when selecting the size of the reel mower. A bigger reel mower provides a wider cut.

  • Make sure the reel mower cuts at the desired length. St. Augustine grass is cut anywhere from 1 to 3 inches, depending on the time of the year and surrounding conditions. Look at the reel mower manual, or consult an expert.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be aware that a bigger reel mower will weigh more. Bigger reel mowers are harder to push. Know that reel mowers work best when the lawn is kept at a short length.

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