Do you have a large lawn? If it’s size is more than 3 or 5 acres, its maintenance requires special care and equipment. Using a push lawn mower is exhausting. It requires manual efforts. A larger machine is necessary for big yards or farms. So, let’s compare zero turn vs lawn tractor for hills. Which vehicle is faster, more powerful and comfortable? Let’s discuss their differences and similarities to select the right equipment for hilly jobs.
Michigan Agricultural Lands
Are you a farmer or a service provider? Landscaping and lawn maintenance business are very popular here, in Michigan. I guess one of the reasons is because the state is rich in natural resources. Water sources are abundant thanks to:
- Great Lakes.
- Inland lakes and rivers.
- Streams, creeks and ponds.
A lot of hills, especially in the upper peninsula are forested. Woodlands prevent soil erosion. They help maintain air quality. Sand dunes are concentrated along Lake Michigan. About 60% of them are privately owned. They are commonly used to sand mining and off-road recreation. For example, a garden tractor with PTO hitch is an off-highway vehicle. It can climb hills or sand dunes in Silver Lake State Park, etc. Quite naturally, any attachments are to be disengaged.
Agricultural lands in Michigan are used to growing sugar beet, corn, soybeans and potatoes. Most of our field crops are produced in the southern lower peninsula. Quite naturally, the best garden tractors for hills are used in farming. Soil is good in the fertile areas.
How to Maintain Your Lawn in Autumn?
Summer heat is in the past. Fall season is coming soon. Rain showers and thunderstorms are becoming more frequent. Constant cloud cover is experienced in autumn. Quite naturally, September is rather warm in Michigan. However, temperatures decrease by about 10° F is experienced during the month.
How to maintain your lawn during the season? When the location receives a lot of rainfalls, stop watering the grass. If you want to deal with the leaves, consider purchasing of the necessary attachments. Your zero turn mower for rough terrain is to be equipped with a mulching kit or catch bag.
Lawn mowing schedule should be slowed down too. It is to be adjusted according to the grass state and the soil typ
Do it yourself lawn care schedulee
|spring||every 10 days|
|summer||once a week|
|fall||every 2 weeks|
It’s recommended to start mowing when the grass is about 2 inches tall. The blades should not damage the grass seeds. The roots are to be protected. So, cut not more than 1/3 of the grass length per time.
Autumn Lawn Care Essentials
Weather and grass type are to be considered. Faster it grows, more frequent cutting the grass requires. When to stop mowing the lawn in fall? The right time is when the grass stops growing. That is, about 2 weeks before the first frost.
The other things to do are:
- top dressing;
- repairing the holes;
The lawn is to be fertilized and leveled. Plastic or metal landscape edging in your garden is better to be installed in spring. It can be damaged or upheaved by frost.
As to the mower’s height, in fall it is to be adjusted. For warm-season grasses, increase it at about ½ inch. So, which vehicle to select?
Pros and Cons of Zero Turn Mower
Mower is a machine that makes turns easily. Zero-degree turning radius is beneficial. So, the vehicles are:
Lawnmowers maneuver around obstacles such as flower beds or bushes. They consume less fuel than tractors. Additionally, a zero-turn unit cuts better than a lawn tractor. It does grass mowing and mulching jobs better. After cutting, the lawn looks clean and accurately. No edges trimming is necessary.
Are Zero Turn Mowers Better on Hills?
Some drawbacks exist. Using vehicles on uneven, bumpy areas is not completely safe. The issue is not about the hills that are in the upper peninsula. Any slopes that are more than 10-15 degrees can be dangerous.
The reason is in the front wheels. They have no steering or braking control. What you can do is to drive forward or in reverse. Using a lawnmower on a steep slope is not recommended. According to the US CPSC Commission, it can cause accidents, such as:
- Body damages by rotating blades.
When the terrain is wet, the risk is higher. Chances of losing control in these conditions increase. Therefore, using mowers on slopes is recommended at a low speed. Sudden turns are to be avoided. Additionally, disengage attachments before driving on slopes. They can affect weight distribution.
What Can a Garden Tractor Do?
Tractor is a sturdily-built vehicle. Equipment designed for lawn maintenance is comparatively compact and lightweight. However, it’s better for big jobs. When you are to handle areas larger than 2 acres, tractors are beneficial.
Garden tractor vs zero turn mower is more:
Featuring heavy-duty wheels and powerful engines, these beasts can do any job, such as tilling, ploughing, snow clearing or planting fields. Vehicles come with multiple attachments, such as tillers, shredders, sweepers or snow blowers. Heavy-duty hitches that are called PTO (power take-off) let you attach the tools to the back.
Meanwhile, the basic difference between lawn tractor and garden tractor is in control. Garden vehicles come with steering wheels. Braking is enabled by pressing the left foot pedal.
On the other hand, front-wheel speed enables lower speed that is up to 5 miles per hour. Zero-turn vehicles are a bit faster, covering 8 mph easily. Additionally, turning radius of a tractor is only 15-30 degrees. Sections of uncut grass can be missed.
Overall Impression: garden tractor vs zero turn mower
So, what type of riding mower is best for hills? It depends on multiple factors. Zero-turn mowers are preferable for maintenance of gardens, yards or sports fields. However, a tractor is heavy-duty, stable and safe. Additionally, the garden vehicle is suitable for multiple tasks performing. It can be necessary in winter, for example, for snow clearing. A mower would be necessary only in spring. So, don’t forget to drain old fuel out of the vehicle after the last mowing or purchase the equipment in several months.