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Help for a new homeowner with a sloping yard, please

forbin09

LawnSite Member
Location
Newalla OK
Just found this forum and the amount of experience of the members here all added together would likely
be astronomical.

I bought this house in November and I wasn't giving much consideration to having to mow this.
NOW, I am totally intimidated and wondering if I can do this because I have Zero experience on a riding mower of any kind.
I've always pushed a mower around a small yard.



I measured the slope as best I could with a 2x4, level, and a tape measure.
If I calculated correctly it's only 15 degrees but it sure looks steeper.



The back is slightly less steep but if I break loose I will end up in the ravine.


So, here are my questions:

1. If it's only 15 degrees can I still mow horizontally, which would be a lot easier because there are no really flat spots at the top or bottom where I can maneuver?

2. Is a Ztr appropriate for me in light of my lack of experience?

3. What strategy would You use to mow this lawn?


A WB is probably out of the question because I have health problems that will limit the amount of time I can spend on my feet.

Ironically, I thought buying an acreage would be helpful because I could sit on a riding mower instead of pushing a mower around on a hot day.
 
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KPW LawnCare

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
New London PA
First thing is what is your price range you are looking to spend on a mower of some sort?
 
OP
F

forbin09

LawnSite Member
Location
Newalla OK
First thing is what is your price range you are looking to spend on a mower of some sort?
I hadn't really planned to spend more than $5,000 but I may have to rethink that.

If it's much more than $5,000 I might just pay someone to mow it until I can sell the house and move.
 

KPW LawnCare

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
New London PA
Have you thought about a hydro walk behind with a sulky on it?
 

KPW LawnCare

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
New London PA
Or you could get a quick 44'' for about $3100 and then the sulky for about $400 the if you really wanted to you could get the accessory pack with a bagger mulching kit blades and a few other things for $500 so you could get a mower sulky and a bunk of extra stuff for $4000 and have $1000 left over thats what i would do.
 

sunray

LawnSite Member
Location
augusta georgia
The yard doesn't look too big, but what I do see is what is all too common these days, a house flat on the ground.
Now with a wife that's been in a wheelchair for 32 years I know all the advantages of a house like this and the pit falls.
I would suggest cutting a more aggressive swale away from the house and some underground drainage around that garage to make sure you never end up with a flooded house.
I say an aggressive swale because with the passing of time and grass and landscaping it will loose some of it's depth and slope.
As time goes by you will be more reluctant to tackle this task because of sprinkler lines, landscaping and any number of things you decide to bury in the ground.
Keep in mind everybody gets monster rains sooner or later and in the middle of one is a bad time to have regrets.
I did not mean to hijack your post, I see this all the time and it cost so much more to correct it later on when you are in love with your landscaping.
As far as the mower for a homeowner, it's hard to beat a good John Deere riding tractor with a grass catcher for periodic use, I like mulching the grass for a healthier yard.
By the way you have a nice house,good luck.
 
OP
F

forbin09

LawnSite Member
Location
Newalla OK
Have you thought about a hydro walk behind with a sulky on it?
I didn't even know there was such a thing until now.

It seems like it would be cumbersome though. Wouldn't the silky tend to slide downhill and drag the back of the mower downhill with it?

The yard doesn't look too big, but what I do see is what is all too common these days, a house flat on the ground.
Now with a wife that's been in a wheelchair for 32 years I know all the advantages of a house like this and the pit falls.
I would suggest cutting a more aggressive swale away from the house and some underground drainage around that garage to make sure you never end up with a flooded house.
I say an aggressive swale because with the passing of time and grass and landscaping it will loose some of it's depth and slope.
As time goes by you will be more reluctant to tackle this task because of sprinkler lines, landscaping and any number of things you decide to bury in the ground.
Keep in mind everybody gets monster rains sooner or later and in the middle of one is a bad time to have regrets.
I did not mean to hijack your post, I see this all the time and it cost so much more to correct it later on when you are in love with your landscaping.
As far as the mower for a homeowner, it's hard to beat a good John Deere riding tractor with a grass catcher for periodic use, I like mulching the grass for a healthier yard.
By the way you have a nice house,good luck.
Sunray, thanks for the remarks.

I have wondered about the drainage on this house. We have had a couple of heavy rains so far and it has handled them although that side of the house and even the flowerbed out front by the porch are constantly soaked and waterlogged.

Oklahoma has had so much snow and rain this year that the ground is saturated.
If we have HEAVY Spring rains it might be a real problem.

I thought about the drainage under the driveway on the south side of the house but I doubt that will be possible.
If you notice the electrical meter is mounted on the wall right by the driveway and the underground electrical service enters
the house right in that area.

I am beginning to think I made a huge mistake in buying this house. :dizzy:
 
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Swampy

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Montello, WI
Now mentioned I do see a potential for drainage problems. Tip for the wise keep a extra sump pump handy with some extra length of bendable hose ready for when and if your basement does start to flood you can just drop in another sump pump and run a extra line out of the house.

Pesonally with your hill, it isn't that steep but if you feel shaky cutting it. Try mowing up and then downhill instead of side to side.

The other thing you can do with your hill is just plant it with a plant that can grow in a culture style such as a Sumac or quaking, Native prarie grasses, bulbs, or some wild flowers.
 

Valk

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
KS
Approx how many sq ft do you need to maintain with your mower?

It looks a bit rutted due to the previous owner's heavy mower or hired crew...do you know what they were using?

Yes, we've had a lot of moisture this last year here in the Midwest.

If you wish to ride on a Zero Turn Rider, then it will be important to pay attention to the mower's weight coupled with the tire size to help displace that weight. Tire pressure will be important as too high will result in ballooning (mid-rutting), and too low will hot help in the corners and will contribute to turf tearing.

A dual hydro walkbehind with a swiveled sulkey will allow you to ride via standing...and turning around will be much easier on you. A trailering sulkey will of course turn in the corners (like a trailer) so it will require a bit more expertise and input on your part. Depending on brand, this will be your lightest option - weightwise.

A stand-on type of mower might be the ticket as they tend to be more stable on hills than a ZTR. I believe you could find a used Wright Stander (48") w/in your price guidelines. This is commercial quality and should be more easy to find used and win your price-range than other stand-on mowers.
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