The sound of a lawnmower, the smell of freshly cut grass – it’s that time of year again! It’s time for your lawn to look green and lush, which also means it’s time to get your lawn mower out.
Taking the time to mow your lawn is an important part of your lawn maintenance routine, but how you do it plays a big role in quality and appearance. If you want to keep your lawn healthy and in great shape, make sure you cut it properly. To mow like a pro, consider these tips.
The first step to mowing like a pro is keeping your blades sharp. If your blades are dull, they will tear the grass blades. The frayed edges will turn brown and will also create places for disease-causing organisms. Also, torn leaves will increase water loss, which means you will have to take more care of your lawn than usual to keep it looking healthy and lush. Making sure your blades are sharp will definitely help prevent all of this, while also giving your lawn a crisp, clean, and manicured appearance.
Once you are sure your lawnmower blades are sharp, set them to keep your lawn two to four inches tall, which depends on the type of lawn. If you cut the grass too short, the roots don’t have a chance to grow or multiply. You’ll get more weeds and are at higher risk for disease and insect attacks. Shorter grass also needs to be watered more often and fertilized more. But if you keep your weed taller, they will have a chance to grow deep, drought tolerant roots. Tall grass also provides shade to keep cool, reduces evaporation, and modifies the ability of weed seeds to take root.
Of course, if you cut high, you should cut frequently, but that’s good too. In the spring, when the grass is just starting to grow, you may need to mow every three to four days. However, once growth slows later in the season, you can get away with just cutting every seven to 10 days.
Have you ever woke up to the sound of lawn mowers? It’s probably because your neighbors understand the importance of mowing the lawn earlier in the day. (But not too early because you shouldn’t mow wet grass.) The perfect time of day is later in the morning after the dew has dried, but before the sun is at its hottest. When the sun shines on your lawn after mowing, it leaves it open to stress and desiccation.
Use medium speed
The high speeds of the mower should only be moved to transport them to the area to be mowed. For best results and for safety reasons, you should only use the mower on the medium setting. This is especially true in open spaces, as it helps you maintain control of the machine. If you are going to trim edges, set it at a lower speed. It is also a good idea to use a low speed when turning corners.
Cut in different directions
Another great tip for mowing like a pro is alternately occasionally mowing direction. Cut in different directions to prevent your grass from being pushed to the side and to create an even surface. If your grass is pushed to the side, it is more susceptible to sun damage.
Although many people choose to collect their clippings, the best thing to do is to drop it on your lawn. This is actually called ‘lawn recycling’. Grass clippings break down fairly quickly and are a great source of nutrients for lawns because they are a natural form of nitrogen. Some lawn mowers actually shred the clippings by cutting it into small pieces, which helps the clippings break down even faster, releasing even more nutrients.
Although grass clippings are really good for your lawn, they are not that good for rivers and lakes due to fertilizer residue. To help reduce water contamination from lawn fertilizers, make sure your grass clippings stay on the lawn and off streets, driveways, and sidewalks, where they can easily get into storm drains.