5 Tips for Mowing the Lawn
The best looking lawns start with the best quality mow
- Mow with a sharp blade. This is my number one tip because most of us don't do it. Whether you are using a push mower, riding mower or traditional real mower, the blades need to be sharpened monthly, every six weeks maximum. Mowing with a sharp blade every time will provide a cleaner cut that is less susceptible to pests and diseases and it looks better too. So take the time to learn how to do it right. It's not that difficult and you can take pride in knowing that you did it yourself. Ask a handy neighbor if they can show you how, or do a search on the Internet, just remember to always unplug the spark plug before doing any work on your lawn mower so that it does not accidentally start while you are working on the blade.
- Remove obstacles. Take the time to clean-up any branches, rocks, and the like so that you don't ding up that blade so quickly. And while you are at it, prune low lying branches from trees and bushes so that you can actually get under those things without poking an eye out. The faster and easier it is to mow, the faster you can hang out in your yard and enjoy it.
- Mow high and mow often. Waiting to mow and then mowing the lawn short actually causes the grass to grow faster at the expense of a well established root system. If the top portion of the grass is always growing, the grass never establishes a deep and healthy root system so the lawn becomes more susceptible to drought, diseases and pests. Try not to mow more than a 1/3 of the height of the grass at a time. And keep the height of your mower blade between 2" and 3". I tend to keep mine at 3" during the growing season as the taller grass blocks light so that weed seeds have trouble germinating. As the season winds down I gradually drop it down to a 2" height since our yard tends to be wet in late fall and early spring.
- Mow when it's dry. This can be difficult at times, but you will get a cleaner cut and less likely for disease to take hold if the grass is dry. Mowing when the grass is dry will also prevent clogged chutes in the mower which will make mowing go faster.
- Mulch mow the grass clippings instead of bagging them. Using a lawn mower that has a mulching blade will not only save you time (you won't have to bag or rake your grass clippings), but it will also act as a fertilizer for your lawn. The mulching blade cuts the grass clippings into tiny pieces that easily fall down into the grass, decompose, and then add nitrogen back to the soil.