Now we have re-seeded the top field, we seem to have an awful lot of grass to cut!
The bottom field has always been a bit of a challenge – it is fairly lumpy and has quite a slope to it. We have ended up borrowing a tractor and topper a couple of times a year, but this means that the grass only gets cut when it is 4ft high. The topper ends up flattening more grass than it really cuts.
The top field is fairly flat with some good grass on it. It was only sown about 6-7 weeks ago, so it will be next year before it fully thickens out.
These two fields are about an acre each. Then we have the orchard which is full of trees and the occasional tree stump. Up until now we have been using a mulching mower to cope with the grass in the orchard, but now with the top field re-seeded we have decided that it is time to invest in a ride on mower. Once we have a mower of our own (rather than having to borrow one), we suspect that the grass will get cut a little more often.
After quite a bit of research, we decided to invest in a zero turn mower. We haven’t been very impressed with the tractor and topper – it feels very unstable on the slope in the bottom field and the quality of the cut has been pretty poor. While a zero turn mower is going to be less versatile than a compact tractor, it is going to be quicker and make a better job of cutting the grass. It is also going to be a cheaper option.
We had a good look around and ended up on deciding on a John Deere Z425. Although John Deere kit is expensive, it is very well made and should cope well with the size of area that we are cutting. We have always opted for slightly more commercial equipment because of the size of the property. We arranged for a demonstration through our local dealer (Bob Wild in Hebden Bridge) and were so convinced by the machine that we decided to buy it there and then.
Over the weekend we have cut the grass in the bottom field a couple of times. We have raked the grass in-between each cut (don’t forget it was 4ft high a couple of weeks ago) and hope that we will get this into a decent state before the summer is out.
Adrian from Bob Wild Grass Machinery demonstrating the John Deere Z425 on the slope in the bottom field. This machine is a lot more stable (and a lot quicker) than a compact tractor and topper. Adrian actually demonstrated that it is possible to cut along the slope with this machine. The slope doesn’t look much in these photos, but it feels steep when you are on it!
If Daleks could mow grass, this is what it would look like! It feels a bit like driving a large motorised wheelchair. We need to shoot some video and post it.