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  • Give your lawn the Wimbledon look!

    Give your lawn the Wimbledon lookGive your lawn the Wimbledon look!

    For the next two weeks all eyes will be focused on the most famous lawn in world sport.

    It’s Wimbledon fortnight and we can look forward to seeing all the world’s top players in action: Murray, Djokovic, Federer, Kerber, Halep, Pliskova … and arguably the biggest star of the show, the Centre Court itself.

    We thought we’d mark Wimbledon 2017 by taking a look at some stats about the famous lawn. And we’ve got a top tip on how you can give your own lawn the Centre Court look without breaking the bank.

    So, what goes into ensuring the 18 grass courts used during Wimbledon are in great shape from Day 1 to Finals weekend? Here are just a few facts we think you’ll love!

    Did you know that ...

    • Since 2001, following studies into durability, the courts have been sown with 100% perennial ryegrass
    • The grass is cut to 8mm during Wimbledon - the optimum length for the modern game, according to scientific researchers
    • During Wimbledon, the courts are cut every day and watered a little each evening
    • The 18 Championship and 22 practice grass courts are tended by a team of 16 full-time ground staff led by head groundsman Neil Stubley - and the numbers are increased to 28 during the two weeks of Wimbledon
    • A singles court measures 23.77m x 8.23m; the area of grass on each of the Centre Court and Number 1 Courts is 41m x 22m
    • How high the ball bounces is determined by the soil, not the grass
    • Nine tonnes of grass seed is used each year
    • The courts have to withstand over 650 matches during the tournament

    But what about the Centre Court’s  trademark stripes? How can we get that Wimbledon look for our lawns? It’s actually a lot easier than you might think, with a range of roller lawnmowers that will do the job nicely.

    It’s all about direction - Stripes are simply created by the two-tone contrasting colours of grass laid flat in one direction and again in the opposite direction. The direction in which the grass is bent causes the light green vs dark green striping effect.

    Mountfield-555RV-2We recommend our roller lawnmowers, which are renowned for producing a beautiful striped finish, Prices start from £319.00

    In the meantime, we can all sit back and enjoy the best tennis tournament on the planet, played on the finest surface of all - grass!

  • Thinking of buying a lawnmower online? Beware of fraudulent lawnmower websites and scams on Amazon

    lawnmower scams online

    As we enter spring I'm afraid that online con artists and fraudsters are once more turning their attention to lawnmowers and online scams are appearing. Firstly there are scam websites, typically these sites will seemingly offer high value walk behind and ride on lawnmowers at bargain prices. Payment will be via Western Union or Bank Transfer. This in itself should set alarm bells ringing. You should never pay by Western Union or Bank Transfer, it is a sure fire sign of a scam and you will be unlikely to be able to get your money back! We recommend always using a credit card with any high value online transaction as you have some protection from the credit card company.

    Scam Websites

    One of the latest scam sites we are aware of is www.mowerdepot.co.uk. This site does not look legitimate. We do not supply them. Whilst you can seemingly pay by credit card, you get a discount if you pay by bank transfer and the credit card processing is fake.  I expect they will contact you and say they are having a problem with their credit card payments and ask you to pay by bank transfer instead.  Please stay away, if you purchase a lawnmower from this site we doubt you will ever receive a new mower or ever see your money again!

    Scams on Amazon

    Another new type of scam involves Amazon. Fraudsters are either hijacking legitimate Amazon Marketplace seller accounts or creating fraudulent ones, they then offer lawnmowers at heavily discounted prices.  For example, the image below shows the Mountfield S501R PD listing on Amazon on 15th March, one seller is genuine with the price at £649, the other 3 are fraudsters.

    Mountfield-scam-Amazon

    The fraud works by the scammers encouraging potential purchasers to contact them via email to discuss delivery or something similar.  I contacted one of them and this is the email they sent me:

    Hello,
    First of all let me apologize for the late answer.
    Let me explain you how you can buy my Mountfield S501R PD 48cm Rear Roller Self Propelled Lawnmower
    The item is brand new, never used, but i can't list it as a new product due to Amazon policy, they don't allow me to list it as a new product. The item will comes with original box and accessories and 2 year international warranty.
    If you are wondering why the price is lower than the usual,it is because we have some promotional prices . The offer lasts 7 days.
    The total price is £246.00, including all shipping costs to Europe.
    If you want to buy it, please send me your shipping address(phone number, your complete name, street name and number, zip code and city) I will immediately send the required data to Amazon Department. They will contact you with the order and details about payment and shipping. You will have to complete the payment with them. Dispatch will be by normal UPS Services, which takes 3-5 days, depending on where in the United Kingdom you are located.
    My return policy is full refund in 21 days.
    For more information, please don't hesitate to contact me!
    Many Thanks

    I then received the following email supposedly from Amazon, it is quite convincing, but note the sender's email address; support@amazon-online-a-z-marketplace.com, not a genuine Amazon email address.  The payment method is by bank transfer to a personal bank account - this should hopefully cause alarm bells for most people.

    Fake email supposedly from Amazon

    These sort of scams seem quite widespread and affecting various brands.  Amazon are removing the scam sellers, but new ones seem to keep appearing.

    amazon scam mower listings

    If you are considering a new lawnmower this year it is great to research your purchase online.  There are some great deals to be had, but please be wary and remember the old adage; if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

  • Guide to choosing a new lawnmower

    Do you need help choosing a lawnmower?

    Choosing the right lawnmower can seem daunting - but it needn’t be difficult if you follow this guide.

    How large is your lawn?

    The first thing to consider is the size of your garden. Is it small, medium, large or extra large? If we use a tennis court as a reference point, small gardens are around half a tennis court, medium up to three quarters and large up to one and a half. Extra large gardens are half an acre or more and a ride-on mower would be a more appropriate choice.Mountfield 1530M-2

    Mower type

    Depending on the size of your garden you may have a choice of power source. Mains electric mowers are quiet, lightweight and easy to use; they are ideal for smaller gardens.

    Mountfield 80 volt cordless lawnmowersCordless mowers are an increasingly popular choice and with advances in battery  technology are now able to cut larger lawns.

    Mountfield Petrol LawnmowersPetrol engine mowers are the most popular choice for larger areas as they are more powerful are not restricted by a cable and can operate for long periods of time. Modern petrol engines are easy to start and on some you just have to turn a key.

    Mulching magic!

    Mowers with 4 wheels are highly manoeuvrable and give an excellent finish on all types of lawn.  Many also have the option of fitting a mulching plug to mulch the grass clippings;  this involves cutting the grass clippings into extra fine particles and recycling them back into the turf, this not only fertilizes the lawn but also means you don’t have to keep stopping to empty the collector.  Mulching isn’t actually magic, although it may feel like it, but it is a great feature saving you both time cutting your lawn and money buying lawn feed.

    Classic stripes

    80 volt cordless roller mowerNothing really finishes a fine lawn better than row after row of beautiful stripes.  To achieve this classic striped finish you’ll need a machine with a rear roller. Traditionally stripes used to be associated with cylinder mowers but these days rotary mowers fitted with a rear roller are much more popular.  They are normally powered by a petrol engine but new 80 volt cordless models are now also available.

    Cutting width

    The wider the cutting width of the mower you use then the quicker you will cut your grass.  For example, if your lawn is 20 meters wide then you will have to go up and down it around 38 times with a 53cm mower compared to 49 times with a 41cm mower.   The 53cm mower will also have a larger grass collector, so unless you are mulching the grass, you will also have to stop less often to empty the grass collector.  So the 53cm mower will be around 30% quicker to cut your grass.  The larger mower will however be heavier and harder to turn and manouevre around obstacles a well as being more expensive.

    To push or not to push?

    Hand propelled machines have to be pushed to make them move forward, the motor or engine’s sole function is to drive the cutter blade. Self propelled models have a transmission so they require less effort to use; just engage the drive and the mower will move forward.  Some self propelled models also have a variable speed control, so you can adjust the speed to best suit your own pace or the conditions.

    The chassis, or cutter deck, may be made of polypropylene, steel with a powder coated paint finish, or hybrid steel/aluminium. It houses the blade and determines the working width, from 34cm to 53cm.

  • The secret to great stripes on your lawn!

    secret-to-great-stripes

     

    Lawn stripes are simply created by the two-tone contrasting colours of grass laid flat in one direction and again in the opposite direction. When grass is bent away from you, it appears lighter in colour as light reflects off the fatter part of the grass plant. Pushed towards you, the grass looks darker.

    To get good lawn stripes you will need a mower with a rear roller. A heavy steel roller will produce a more pronounced stripe than a lighter plastic roller.

    • Start by cutting around the edge of the lawn
    • Work from one side of your lawn, cutting up and down the length
    • Only ever push forward with the mower, this is because it is the direction of the mower (and the roller) that makes the grass bend in different directions thus creating the striped effect.
    • Slightly overlap the stripe each time so that you do not have thin strips of uncut grass left between the stripes.
    • Cut the edges with a grass trimmer for a neat result
    • Sit back and enjoy the view of your beautiful striped lawn, perhaps with a nice cup of tea or cold beer?

    Next time you cut your lawn, cut along the same stripes in the same direction as previously to develop a more pronounced lawn stripe.

    • There are actually many varieties of grass available and fine ornamental grasses will produce more pronounced stripes in your lawn.  These grasses are however delicate and require more care and attention than the common general purpose grasses that make up the majority of lawns.

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