If you’re going to mow your own lawn, or your yard is small enough to manage by yourself, then you might end up mowing your own lawn. Lots of people think that mowing is as simple as starting up the lawn mower and going. It’s actually not that simple. Here are some tips to make sure that you get the job done quickly and correctly. Remember to call your local lawn care specialist if mowing your lawn is more than a one-man job.
Remember the “One Third” Rule
Don’t mow low! In general, you always want to stick to the “One Third” rule of lawn mowing. That means never mowing more that one-third of the height of your grass. A well-maintained yard can take a few close shaves. But if you mow too low, too often, then you will end up with burnt grass and possibly worse.
Mowing too short can lead to:
-Harm to the grass root
-Inability for grass to grow on your lawn
-Increased vulnerability to bugs, pests, disease, etc.
Mow Your Lawn When It’s Dry, But Not Too Hot
You may be tempted to mow after fresh rain, but it’s best to mow your lawn when it’s dry. The blades of grass won’t clump up so easily, and if you bag your clippings then you won’t end up with a super-heavy bag that’s only half-full.
Similarly, you don’t want to mow your lawn when it’s super hot out. Avoid mowing your lawn in the middle of the day. Mowing when it’s too hot out sucks the moisture our of your lawn. If will do the same to you if you don’t stay hydrated! Wait until the afternoon to protect yourself and your grass.
Mow in Different Patterns
Each time you mow, change the pattern. Grass actually develops a grain based on the direction that the grass is cut. So if you mow the same pattern every week, you’ll end up with grass that literally leans in the direction that you mow. You want to avoid that in order to make your lawn look good. So always remember to mix up your mowing patterns to avoid grass growing in a single direction. This also will help prevent ruts from forming in your yard from constantly repeating the same mowing pattern.
Maintain Your Lawn Mower
Take your lawn mower to a professional in order to sharpen the blades. Dull blades make for ragged cuts in your grass. Even if you aren’t mechanically inclined, taking the time to check the oil before you mow is a good practice. If it’s too low, just top it up. If your mower is consuming oil quickly, take it to a professional to have it looked at. Changing a spark plug isn’t too difficult either- with a little know-how and work, you can maintain your mower for years to come.
Mulch, Don’t Bag
Yes, the picture above is what NOT to do. There is an endless debate around what you should do with your grass clippings. Should you mulch, bag, or discharge your clippings? We think that if you’re following the rest of our tips, mulching is your best idea. That’s because if you stick to the one-third rule, you end up with very small clippings. Mulching these clippings lets them break down in your yard and give some nutrients back to the soil. But the key is to mow often and not take off too much grass. Otherwise mulching can smother your yard and literally choke the life our of your grass. So, if you do everything else right, then ditch the bag and mulch. It’ll be better for your yard in the long run.
Last But Not Least! Clean Up!
After all that hard work, remember to clean up! It can be tempting to just put things away “tomorrow,” but “tomorrow” it might rain, or an emergency might come up. The final step for every bit of lawn care should always be cleaning up and putting away your tools. So don’t forget to put the mower away along with everything else.
We’d love to help you with your lawn care needs, but if you are going it alone this season, we hope that our tips help you keep your lawn looking great!