Last Updated on June 24, 2018 by Don L. Johnson
If you want to promote growth and ensure that your lawn looks great, you need to mow it regularly. It is however important that you mow it properly as it can either hurt or help your lawn depending on how you do it. Many problems associated with lawns are mainly caused by poor mowing-mowing with blunt blades, moving too short, cutting too much or mowing infrequently.
In this guide, we have covered a few simple rules on how to mow a lawn:
Set the mower high
You need to set the mower to the best-preferred setting for your type of grass and only cut a one-third of the grass blades each type you mow, even if it would mean mowing again after a few days. The reason being longer grass blades can develop more roots and deeper root system that can easily find nutrients and water in the soil, thus promoting growth. When you cut too aggressively, also known as ‘scalping the lawn,’ makes the grass to focus on growing back the blades and not deepening their roots.
Besides, scalping the lawn makes the lawn susceptible to weeds. One thing about taller grass blades is that they keep the soil cooler, thus preventing the sprouting of weeds seeds. Not to forget lifestyle advantages as the taller grass is always softer to walk on and cushions fall better when compared to short grass.
It is, however, worth noting that although most types of grass respond best when the mower is set to the highest settings. Centipedegrass and Zoysiagrass prefer a middle mower setting, whereas Bermuda grass and creeping bentgrass prefer one of the lowest mower settings.
Don’t mow a wet lawn
The ideal time to mow your lawn is the early evening. When you mow the lawn at the peak of the day when temperatures are high, it stresses both the mower and the lawn. The lawn is usually dry in the early evening. The sun is usually not as hot and the lawn will have enough time to recover before the next afternoon when the heat will be high again.
Even if it has not rained, due to dew and fog, lawns are usually wet in the morning. If it rains, you will have to wait for the lawn to dry before you can start mowing it since cutting wet grass will only result in an uneven trim. In addition, wet clippings can clog your mower and make it dump clump of grass on the lawn. And they are not raked, the can cause brown spots on the growing grass.
Vary your mowing pattern
It is also important to mow in a different direction each time you do it. If you always mow the lawn in a certain direction, the grass will learn the direction you trim from and will begin to lean towards the direction you mow. When you vary the mowing pattern, you will help to avoid the formation of ruts in the lawn. In addition, the grass will stand tall since you will be mowing it from all directions.
Mow the lawn as often as needed
Don’t mow the lawn on a schedule. Instead mow as needed for your type of grass, growing condition, season, and growth pattern. Mowing on a schedule like every Saturday doesn’t give your lawn the chance to be mowed when it really needs it. For example, when the grass is growing fast in the spring, it needs to be mowed more frequently (even twice a week), but when growth is slowed during summer, you may only need to mow the lawn once every two weeks.
Don’t remove grass clippings from your lawn
When mowing your lawn, don’t remove the grass clippings. This is because they can quickly start producing beneficial nutrients. You will want to more often so that you don’t remove too much grass at once. When you remove too much grass, it leaves huge piles of long clippings on your lawn that won’t break down quickly.
If you decide to bag the clippings, you can compost them or use as mulch. However, you should only do that if you have not applied any lawn weed control products.
Ensure that the mower blade is sharp
To get a clean cut, you need to sharpen the mower blades. Dull or blunt blades will only tear up grass, thus causing brown, ragged edges. If you continue using a blunt blade, the grass will become weak over time, making it more susceptible to insect damage, disease and other stresses.
Blade sharpening and a tune-up once a year can come a long way in ensuring that you have a healthy lawn. The mower will not have any problems when it comes to starting, it will make clean cuts and slice clippings without damaging mower blades. You should also remember to wash the mower after using it to prevent blockages in the mower.
Keep in mind these lawn care tips
- When mowing with a push mower, always push it forward.
- Always wear closed shoes, not flip-flops or sandals.
- Always watch out for children and pets, especially when you are using a loud mower.
- Wear goggles or any other eye covering to protect your eyes from any object that might shoot up as you mow.
- When cutting grass on a slope, move the mower side to side rather than up and down the slope. This is important in reducing the risk of injury that may result from slipping.
Take your time before mowing your new lawn
It is important to give grass seeds enough time to get off to a great start before you can mow the lawn. You can cut new grass seedlings for the first when they reach mowing height, which basically depends on the type of grass. However, regardless of the type of grass, only cut one-third of the grass blades.
When you cut the grass wrongly, it will cause shock to the grass, thus slowing down the growth of the new lawn.
These are just but a few points on how to mow a lawn. Always remember that when you mow correctly, you will be able to get a healthy, good looking lawn.
Hi guys! My name is Don and I have been taking care of many lawns across the country for more than 5 years now. Before I hit the road myself, I worked at a lawn care service company where I mastered handling different lawn tools as well. Now, don’t fall back right away even if you are not a lawn guru or a pro. I will be right here – at your service 24/7 to teach you everything about lawn care. Stay tuned for the updates if your goal is to enjoy luscious, deep green grass in your backyard almost all year round. Oh, you can find me on Twitter as well! Happy reading!