Proper mowing techniques are critical to the success or failure of your lawn. A correctly mowed lawn will be healthier which means it will tolerate drought conditions better and thick enough to crowd out weeds. An incorrectly mowed grass will be stressed, more prone to weeds, and struggle to survive.
Because of the importance of proper technique, we have compiled some tips to help you master the art of mowing and create the best conditions for a beautiful healthy lawn.
Before you mow:
Familiarize yourself with the operation of your particular mower. Carefully read the operator’s manual, noting any warnings and heeding any recommendations for care and maintenance.
Make sure that you are wearing the proper clothing including closed-toed shoes with good traction.
Walk through the area to be mowed and remove any objects such as tools toys, and rocks that could be hazardous to mow over.
Make sure that any children in the area are supervised while you mow and never give children a “ride” on a riding mower.
Sharpen your mower blades a few times during the mowing season to get best results. A dull blade will tear the grass rather than cut it cleanly and torn grass is more susceptible to pests and disease.
Adjust the mower height for the type of grass that you have, for example a cool season grass such as a bluegrass should be cut to 2 ½ to 3 ½ inches. It’s also a good rule to remember is to never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade length and any one time. Repeated close mowing can damage the lawn. Avoid scalping grass – which is cutting it too short. A sparse lawn lets in sunlight which boosts weed seedling growth and increases the likelihood of a weed infestation. Also repeatedly cutting the lawn short leads to a poorly developed root system which makes your lawn more vulnerable to heat and drought conditions.
Make sure the grass is dry and try to avoid mowing the in the heat of the day or too late in the evening.
Use the higher speed only for transporting the mower to the area to be mowed. Use medium mower speeds for mowing open areas and low speeds for trimming and turning corners.
If you want straight stripes on a lawn begin by mowing a straight line down the middle and then mow on either side. You will mow straighter if you focus ahead about 10ft. rather than looking down at the wheels.
Each run of the mower should slightly overlap the previous one.
Change the mowing pattern each time you mow, alternating the pattern will help your grass grow upright and will also help avoid ugly ruts.
Mow in a forward motion, whether using a walker or rider mower.
Discharge clippings towards the area that has already been cut. There are benefits to discharging the clippings rather than bagging them. “Grasscycling” is the term for letting the clippings lie in the lawn after cutting. The advantage to grasscycling besides saving time and money is that the grass clippings can provide up to 25% of the fertilization needs of your lawn. Having a mulcher attachment can cut the clippings into smaller pieces that decompose more quickly. If you do bag your clippings, consider composting them.
If your mowing blades get clogged make sure to turn off the mower before investigating. Mower blades move at around 200 miles per hour. Never stick your hand inside the mower to fix a clog. Use a stick or a tool to reach inside and to remove any clogs. Anything more than a minor clog, take your mower to a trained mechanic or dealer.
Consistent mowing with the proper techniques will yield a beautiful well-manicured healthy lawn. If you struggle to find the time and energy to maintain your lawn, consider the benefits of having an experienced lawn mowing service. Organic Solutions! Inc., has been mowing lawns for over 17 years. We have the right equipment and the right team to professionally mow, edge, and trim your outdoor space.
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