My special lady friend and I just bought a house on 1.5 acres, most of which is going to find itself designed into intensive permaculture production over the coming years. However, we like sprawling on some "lawn" as much as the next guy, and we have a spot that will end up being between 0.05 - 0.1 acres that we leave as Wheaton Style Lawn. I'm trying to figure out the best way to trim the lawn, and was hoping for some suggestions.
I'd like to leave the height of everything a minimum of 4 inches. The choices I've narrowed it down to are a scythe, or a Fiskars push mower.
The Fiskars that I've found has been discussed in the forums before, but nobody seemed to give it a definitive "love it/hate it" opinion, so I was hoping others might have some feedback.
The other option I've been thinking about is a scythe, but are these good for mowing 4 inches or higher? Is there too much human error in keeping it high off the ground, or is it simply a matter of fitting the scythe to yourself properly and the blade sort of naturally swings where you want the height to be?
Finally, I've found this thread where someone mentions they borrowed this scythe from Paul... does anyone know which scythe is "Paul Wheaton Approved?" I'd love to get a scythe from Permaculture Magazine's shopping website, but can't quite afford the Cadillac of scythe's yet, and have instead been considering this brand on Amazon. Does anyone have any feedback on those? Is that the brand pictured in the thread I linked to above that Paul loaned to Mr. Aiuppa?
Thanks for any and all help/opinion that anyone contributes... I value everyone's input tremendously!
If you're not looking for a manucured look, then a scythe can be used to keep the grass long. It takes a little practice and you'll probably scalp a few places on accident, but if the tool is properly sharpened it'll cut long. It's a little tricky to get a good cut in places where your swing will be shortened (around rocks, retaining walls, etc.).
If you want it to look really tight and uniform, I'd go with the Fiskars. I think you can learn to get that look with a scythe, but the learning curve is pretty steep and I'm certainly not there yet.
If you're super lazy like me and mow once every decade or so you can do both and top the longer bits with a scythe and then go over the whole thing with a reel mover to get a super even look without having the problem of the weeds laying down without getting cut.
EDIT::: I don't have any experience selecting a scythe. I purchased a used one that I presume is American (a little heavy, straight tang) for $15 and it's working for me just fine. I don't have a bunch of grass or wheat to cut so that isn't much of a consideration for me, but for my small space the American does fine.
This was my compromise. Using a comby unit It is also my pole pruner and rototiller. I still have my great grandfather's scythe, my father's scythe, my mother's scythe, a brush scythe and my wife's new modern scythe. Each for its best use. I use my great grandfathers scythe to trim the clover and plantain blossoms in the summer time. My father told me that is what his grandfather used it for. It is an extremely light blade that floats on top of the lawn and only cuts what sticks above the average.