Fifty blades of green: Which lawnmowers are a cut above?
From petrol to pushing, Aideen Sheehan looks at the best ways to trim your grass this spring
With Saint Patrick's Day approaching, people's thoughts will be turning to the garden.
Chances are your grass is almost ready for its first cut of the season, but if you need to purchase a new mower, what's the best investment?
Mowers range in price from €40 to €1,000 or more – so what should you look for?
The three key options are petrol, electric or push mower.
Petrol mowers are usually strong and robust and excellent for larger lawns and slopes, but, according to Gerry Croffey of Gerry Croffey Lawnmowers in Ballinasloe, some people are put off because they're more expensive and some are afraid they'll be tricky to start.
Electric mowers are often light, cheap and easy to start making them a popular option – but the flex is awkward to avoid.
Push mowers can give a good finish and are very convenient for a small lawn.
Mr Croffey said whatever you get it's important to maintain it well – servicing every two years is enough for a petrol or electric mower, but you should get a push mower sharpened every year.
In 2011, consumer experts Which? in the UK had a Best Buy guide which tested dozens of mowers on ease of use, quality of cut and edging ability and gave their ratings.
We've detailed some of the top recommendations readily available in Ireland.
Honda HRG465 SD
Price: €592 plus delivery from pixmania.ie
A large powerful 46cm petrol mower described as "a pleasure to use".
Bosch Rotak 40 Ergoflex
Price:€194 plus delivery from pixmania.ie
Easy-to-use electric mower which efficiently collects the clippings.
Bosch Rotak 40 Rotary Mower
Electric mower which features a rear roller for stripes and lawn combs to improve edging.
Flymo Pac a Mow
Price:€122 plus delivery from Pixmania.ie
Electric rotary mower that's good on a small lawn.
Flymo Chevron 34VC
Price:€129 plus delivery pixmania.ie
Electric mower that's a consistently good cutter.
This tiny basic electric hover mower doesn't collect the clippings but cuts standard-length grass and edges well.
Husqvarna Novocut 64
Price:€130 plus €30 for grassbox from Husqvarna Centre, Dublin
Best-rated pushmower that's good for a medium lawn and gives a good finish.
The price quoted is for the almost identical Novocut 54 model.