Having a mower with a cutting deck width that ranges between 14 inches to 28 inches is ideal for an acre of land. You could get one with a larger deck, which will reduce mowing time. But this will depend on the surface and general terrain.
That said, when it comes to an acre or less of grass to cut, having a larger cutting deck doesn’t mean it will be better. Bigger mowers tend to take up lots of storage space and this may not be ideal for smaller sheds or garages.
How Long Does It Take to Mow an Acre of Grass?
Depending on the size of the cutting deck and speed of the engine, an acre of grass can take as little as 15 minutes for something like a 50 inch. But, it could take as long as an hour for a 20 inch cutting deck.
What Different Kinds of Mowers Are There?
There are several kinds of mowers: zero-turns, riding mowers, hand push and even robotic ones. Each has different characteristics and functions that can handle different types of terrain and lawn layouts.
Robotic mowers are often electric or battery-powered and are around 20 inches wide or less. They operate with sensor technology, so you program the mowing area and it does the job without much effort on your part. Robotic ones offer low maintenance, but also GPS tracking capabilities. This does raise privacy concerns depending on the brand.
Riding mowers are most ideal for one-acre lawns. They have a huge range of cutting width, from as little as 24 inches to as much as 60 inches. While they do cost a bit more, they’re worth the investment and offer an easy way to mow.
Hand-push mowers come in a wide range of types to choose from. It opens options depending on how you want and can afford to power the mower.
- Gas-Powered: These have a typical 20-inch cutting deck and can take about 40 minutes to mow. They consume one gallon of fuel per hour. However, there are larger ones that will consume more gas but take less time.
- Battery-Powered: Hand push mowers that come powered via a battery are usually cordless models you have to charge. While there are a few on the market good for mowing an acre, it’s important to pay attention to how long the battery holds the charge in relationship to the size of the cutting deck. These can get as large as 40 inches.
- Manual: Also called a push reel, this is the most affordable kind of mower. While the cut width is usually never more than 18 inches, it can take quite a bit of time to mow an entire acre of grass. However, the terrain of the lawn may warrant the use of a push reel in certain circumstances.
Zero-turns offer the best maneuverability and ease of handling. They can come in a range of sizes for the cutting deck. There are ones that are 30 inches and others as high as 74 inches. Often better for commercial or industrial operations, there are some models available for residential use.
Which Kinds of Mowers Are Advisable for an Acre of Grass?
There are various kinds of mowers available for an acre of grass. But, the type of lawn or land you’re mowing will require a different kind. Some lawns are suitable for a riding type where as it would be a horrendous idea for forest-like terrain. Consider the following:
- Flat Surfaces: A zero-turn model is best for an acre that’s flat and even. But any kind of mower will suffice. Flat areas are also ideal for the larger range of cutting deck sizes, such as 40 or even 56 inches. It allows for more grass cut in a single path and you don’t have to figure a way around topiaries or other landscaping.
- Forest-Like Terrain: Bumpy, bulbous and uneven lawns should use a hand push mower. This will offer more control in narrow, tight areas and work around trees, bushes and other such objects. But, it should have a smaller cutting deck to handle the roughness.
- Rocky & Uneven: Gardens and landscaping often has plentitudes of rocks, stones, pebbles and other such solid objects. Using a hand push or robotic mower will be best for this. The robotic one may be ideal to guard against flying debris.
- Steep Inclines/Declines: A riding lawnmower designed for hills will be best for an acre. Manual ones will require a lot of physical force and will tire average user easily. Plus, a riding mower offers more speed, which is good for steep inclines.
Which Brands Are Advisable for Mowing an Acre of Grass?
There are many great brands available. The following list is a sample of the four more popular mowers. It’s advisable to do your own research if anything piques your interest.
- Husqvarna Robotic Mower: Using your smart phone via an app, you set the schedule and parameters. It’s good for flat, soft ground with a definite boundary. You can tell it to mow the whole yard or a particular area. When the power runs out, the robot returns to its charging station.
- Craftsman M215: This gas-powered mower self-propels with a 21-inch cutting deck and 159cc engine. This is ideal for those who lack physical strength or for difficult lawns. The rear wheels help stabilize the machine while in motion.
- BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1: As a mower that’s ideal for a hilly yard, this mower by B+D cuts grass, edges and trims over obstacles. It’s a hand push style and battery-powered. But, the cutting width is only 12 inches, which may prove difficult for use on an entire acre.
- Husqvarna Z254: This mower is one of the most popular zero-turns for flat surfaces. It has a 54-inch cutting deck and allows you to achieve angles fast, giving better flexibility to plan your mowing path.
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.