Grass cutting petrol strimmer accident

DIY Disaster No.2 – Cutting the grass

Grass cutting petrol strimmer accident
© Benjshepherd / StockFreeImages.com

That’s right, I said cutting the grass. It barely even counts as DIY, but I was doing it myself, which is surely the first rule of DIY, and I somehow managed to turn it into a disaster.

Our garden is on a bit of a slope, and after a few weeks of neglect, the grass on the steeper sections was completely out of control. I can’t get the lawnmower down there, so I had to buy a strimmer – or a decespugliatore if you like your Italian words.

I bought a petrol one, not one of those girly, electric things. This is a real man’s machine. You have to wear a helmet with an eye shield, ear protectors and gloves. It took me well over an hour to put the thing together and about the same to work out how to start it, but once I finally got it going, I was able to make quite impressive progress, strimming away without a care in the world.

Until, that is, I slipped over. It was only a small slip, nothing spectacular or painful. I looked around to make sure nobody had seen me embarrass myself, climbed back to my feet, put the strap back over my shoulder, pointed the strimmer towards a long piece of grass and stretched my index finger towards the throttle trigger. Nothing. I tried again. Still nothing. I looked down. There was a small slither of orange plastic where once had sat the throttle. The little bugger had snapped clean off and was now hiding somewhere in the long grass, taunting me.

And that was that. My strimming career had come to a sad, sorry end in less than 30 minutes.

We took the decespugliatore (I can’t get enough of the word, even if I currently hate the tool…) back to the shop, rather sheepishly, to tell them that I’m an idiot and had fallen over and snapped off the throttle complain about its shoddy build quality and to get it repaired. Several weeks later, it still isn’t ready and the grass has grown almost as tall as the house.

On the plus side, I just spoke to my father; he was varnishing a fence yesterday and kicked over a full tin of varnish. So it’s not my fault I’m this hopeless, I have bad genes!

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20 thoughts on “DIY Disaster No.2 – Cutting the grass

  1. Oh, dear. Quite agree with you: gardening equipment is shoddily built and not made to last. Not even 30 minutes. I’d try to make the best out of a bad situation: get yourselves a few sheep to mow the grass for you. So tendence and environmentally-friendly, daaarling. Just think, you could even make wool and get your own woolly hats ready as a side-line income over winter 😉

    1. I like the way you’re thinking… the local farmer told me we should get a goat (at least I think that’s what he said, he speaks in dialect and I speak in Itanglish. We somehow get by though!), but a sheep would be good. It would give our dog something to do too, he could chase it around for hours!

  2. HI! I so enjoyed this. Dunque: “de- cespugliatore” means a bush remover. By now your grass may be a grand cespuglio but remember that the goat is a living animal which requires a certain amount of care and must be fenced in.
    It won’t breakdown in 20 minutes, but… other problems will arise.
    I suggest that you find a local old timer and ask him to teach you how to use the schyte, the long handled type that you use standing up; it is good fresh exercise, a wonderful unusual skill to have, efficient and fast, and it will only need a good sharpening every now and then. Very DIY too – just be careful not cut off your own foot as you learn… to see what I mean:
    check this you tube demonstration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoOTnFuqKjI
    I found it online:
    YouTube :
    Apr 22, 2013 … Traditional hay mowing with schyte 21.6.2012 at Kiltsi Meadow Estonia.tag.
    (Just skip the ad about mowing with a truck…).
    In bocca al lupo !

    1. Thanks Vera – great advice! That looks like a very good way of doing it. The grass is about that length now so I may have to give this a go. Look out for my next post about how I lost a foot while using a scythe 😉

      Don’t worry, we wouldn’t get a goat. It may be good at controlling the grass, but I don’t think Otto (our dog) would be very keen on having a new animal around!

      1. Good for you. Remember that this has been used to grow food and keep nature under control for thousands of years… see if the poisonous orange string thingies can do that! bravo, bravissimo..

    1. With all our long grass it’ll be fat enough to eat by June!! I’m still liking the scythe route though… it sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, but I’ve never let that stop me before!

  3. Look what happens when Inquisitive Semi-German leaves – the garden’s out of control! At least the patio is weed-free, thanks to his tireless efforts with a trowel, despite being on holiday. Note to fans: ISG famously featured in “SERRALUNGA D’ALBA: A LONG, LAZY LUNCH AT TRATTORIA SCHIAVENZA”, that in part detailed his thoroughly enjoyable stay in this scenically and gastronomically rich corner of Piemonte. Allegra and Rich, you were fantastic hosts, and Happy 5th Wedding Anniversary today!

    1. Thanks ISG, glad you enjoyed your visit, it was great having you to stay! So… When you say ‘weed free’ do you mean there aren’t any weeds? So…. When you say we were fantastic hosts, how fantastic were we? So… When you say ‘tireless efforts’, was that before or after you gave up weeding to drink wine? 😉

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