It’s springtime again, and it’s time to dust off your lawnmower. Hopefully, your mower got a tune-up over the winter, so its blades are sharp and you tightened all of the moving parts. April is National Lawn Care Month, and it’s a great time to remember the following lawn mowing tips.
9 Lawn Mowing Tips
You want to keep your lawn looking tidy, but you also want to preserve the health of your turfgrass. Regularly cutting your grass will promote healthy lawn. What’s more, you can be earth-friendly when you invest in a battery-powered lawn mower that emits fewer fumes and uses less gas.
Here are those nine lawn mowing tips for a healthy yard:
- Buy or rent the right mower. Not all mowers are the same. You can buy a riding mower, ZTR mower, or a push mower. If your lawn is 500 sq. ft. or less, use a reel mower.
Reel mowers use no gas or oil; they’re quiet, and they get the job done. You only need to sharpen the blades to maintain your reel mower.
For lawns larger than 500 sq. ft., a self-propelled push mower is your best bet. Again, a battery-operated, self-propelled mower will save you fuel. The self-propel part of a mower will make cutting your lawn less labor-intensive.
- Set the mower wheel height. Cool- and warm-season grasses require different mowing heights for vitality and thickness. Zoysiagrass, for example, can have a lower wheel height so that your turfgrass is 1” to 2” after cutting it.
Conversely, cool season grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, need the mower wheel height set higher so the mowed grass height is 3” to 3 ½”.
- Before you mow for the first time this spring, make sure that your mower is ready to go. Your lawn mower needs a yearly tune-up and its blades sharpened. You want to give your lawn grass a clean cut to prevent disease.
Your mower should also have a fresh tank of gas, and make sure that you clean all of the grass gunk stuck underneath the mower deck from last season.
- Pick up all toys, branches, and other debris from your yard. You don’t want any stones, toys, or large branches to go through your mower because it could damage it as well as injure you.
Also, make sure your children aren’t near the mower chute in case debris comes flying out.
- Set the mulching feature to “on.” If you have a mulching lawnmower, make sure that you set it to mulch grass clippings. You can keep the mower bag off so the chopped clippings can return to the lawn. You save a bag of fertilizer per year when you grasscycle.
If you can’t stand the idea of grass clippings on your yard, then put the mulcher bag on your mower. You can empty the clippings into your compost bin or your vegetable garden.
- When’s the best time to mow? Mowing in the morning after the dew has dried off is the best time to cut. The sun isn’t at its peak, so the turfgrass has plenty of time to recover.
However, if you work during the day and want to cut your grass during the week, early evening is your second best option. Again, it’s cooler, and dew hasn’t formed on your lawn yet.
If you mow during the hottest part of the day, your lawn grass will suffer because it uses energy to recover from mowing. Add the sun, and your grass will be spending too much effort recovering from heat stress as well as from the mowing.
- How often should you mow your lawn? Typically, you need to cut your grass every week during the spring, summer, and fall. Cool season lawns may need additional mowing in the spring and fall when they’re actively growing.
However, your cool season lawn will go dormant in the middle of the summer. So, you can get away with not mowing it until it greens up again.
- Mowing patterns: Mow in different directions each time you cut your grass so that ruts don’t form on your lawn.
Mow back and forth in line with some overlap. Don’t mow in a spiral pattern. However, when you mow around flowerbeds, landscaped areas, and trees, mow in a circle one way, then cut in a circle in the opposite direction.
If your property is hilly, then you want to mow side-to-side with a push mower to conserve your energy. However, if you have a riding mower, you can cut your grass in an up and down pattern.
- Clean up your yard after you mow. Granted, if you use the mower’s mulching feature, you shouldn’t have to rake up any grass. But you’ll need to sweep or use a leaf blower to remove grass clippings from any hardscapes, such as walkways, the driveway, and the patio.
Keep these lawn mowing tips in mind every time you cut your grass. You’ll notice that your lawn looks manicured and thick with hardly any weeds.
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DIYNetwork.com, “13 Mowing Tips for a Healthy Lawn.”
TheSpruce.com, “Tips for Safe, Efficient Lawn Mowing.”