**When mowing grass, some methods are quicker and easier than others. The luxury level is the riding lawnmower. Under that is the self-propelled push mower. Lower yet is the manually pushed push mower. At the bottom is the push reel mower. If you have a two-acre plot, think twice about using a push mower of any kind.**

I weigh 220 pounds and need to lose 40. I asked a trainer how many calories he thought I could burn by mowing. He told me to divide my weight by 2.2, multiply that answer by 0.08, then multiply that answer by the number of minutes I spent mowing. That could add up, but it’s good exercise to mow, so I can do two acres! Right?

**How Big Are Two Acres?**

I asked the trainer how long he thought it would take for me to mow a two-acre plot. He just shook his head and said he had no idea.

A one-acre plot is 208.71 feet square. So, a two-acre property is 417.42 feet square. I did a bit more math because I was curious. That came to 139.14 yards square. I thought about the local football field. Two acres would be an area as long as the field length (including the end zones), but it also would be as wide as the field is long!

The numbers were starting to add up, and I had only started to figure out how difficult it would be to push mow two acres.

**How Can You Figure Out How Long It Will Take To Mow Two-Acres?**

It made sense to me to go to the lawnmower dealership to get some more answers. The first thing I asked was, “How long will it take me to mow two acres?” The salesman jumped on me like a hound dog on a rabbit. He pointed to the most expensive (of course) zero-turn riding mower and told me it would have my grass mowed in 20 minutes.

Now the numbers were beginning to sound good. I pointed to a cheaper model with an engine on the rear. He said it would have my lawn mowed in less than an hour and a half. I took a deep breath because the numbers suddenly went up.

I pointed to a mower I could afford. “Well,” he said. “If you have a lot of obstacles, it’s going to be hard. If it is on an incline anywhere, it’s going to be even harder. If it’s flat, no obstacles, and you move at a good speed, I’d say it’ll take about two and a half hours.”

**How Can You Estimate The Mowing Time?**

Another salesman walked up, apologized for interrupting, and asked what size of an area I was mowing. When I told him, he said, “I overheard what my associate said, and I have to say no, no, no. I don’t want to mislead you. You’re looking at a 22-inch mowing deck. Two acres is going to take you about four hours.”

**Why Such A Difference In The Time?**

I looked at them, dumbfounded. I asked why there was such a difference in time, and they just shook their heads, shrugged their shoulders, and said they just knew. I was not impressed, so I thanked them and walked out. I decided to go to another dealership across town.

**So, How Much Time Does It Really Take?**

I went through the same routine across town until we got down to the 22-inch push mower. The salesman pulled out a pocket calculator. He started crunching and tossing numbers at me.

He said the 22-inch mowing deck would cut a swath about 18 inches wide. If we take 208.71 feet or 2504.52 inches, divide that by 18, we come up with 139.14. So, I would have to walk back and forth down 140 lanes to mow one acre and 280 times for two acres.

He said if we take 280 and multiply that by 208.71 feet, the length of one acre, we get 58,438,8 feet. Multiply that by the two acres, and we have 116,877.6 linear feet in 280 lanes. It was here that I took a big gulp of air. Things were adding up quickly. One hundred thousand was a pretty significant number.

**What Is The Bottom Line?**

He saw my wide eyes and laughed. He said it wasn’t that bad. We now have to divide 116,877.6 feet by the length of a mile, or 5,280 feet. That reduced the number to 22.14. I sighed with relief. My relief vanished when he told me that was the number of miles I would have to travel.

**What Is That In Terms Of Time?**

This guy pulled some numbers out of his hat. He said the average person walks about three to four miles per hour. So, considering the effort needed to push the mower, if we divide 22.14 by 3, the lowest speed, we get just a little less than eight hours.

I looked at a self-propelled mower and asked if that would be any quicker since I wouldn’t have to push so hard. He said its speed would depend on how fast I could move. I looked perplexed, so he explained that a self-propelled mower could move at a rate of five mph, but the average person’s fastest speed was four mph.

So, unless I wanted to almost run behind the mower, we would take 22.14 and divide it by 4 to get a time of about five and a half hours. If I wanted to run, I could get it done in about four and a half hours.

**How Do You Convert Mowing Time To The Effort Needed?**

My trainer also told me a person who burns 500 calories less than they eat would lose about a pound. I eat a lot. If an average person consumes 2,500 calories a day, I probably eat 3,000.

I crunched the numbers. Mowing the grass with a standard push-mower for 8 hours would burn off about 6.7 pounds. I’d lose 28 pounds a month by mowing my lawn each week. With a diet restricted to 2,000 calories, I could lose nearly 32 pounds a month just by mowing my grass. I could drop 40 pounds and more by the end of summer.

With the self-propelled model, the picture was still good. At 3,000 calories eaten, I would lose about four and a quarter pounds, or 17 pounds a month. If I followed a strict diet, mowing would burn about 25 pounds off a month.

**How Do You See These Numbers?**

I lost a half-pound a day working out, once. It was hard. The idea of losing seven pounds in one day by mowing my grass did not appeal to me. Losing a bit more than four pounds sounded better, but not better enough. It wasn’t going to happen.

What do you think? Is mowing two acres with a push mower an effort you are willing to make?

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.

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