LAWN MOWING TIPS, TECHNIQUES AND ADVICE:
General Lawn Mowing Tips And Advice
Lawn mowing is healthy for your lawn. You’re trimming away the oldest part of the plant because grass grows from the bottom up. A higher cut – generally trimming the top third of the plant – will shade the roots and encourage a deeper root system.
A deep root system can reach water further down in the soil, providing reserve power to survive dry spells.
Different types of grass require different cutting heights; in general, cool-season grasses should be cut at three and a half inches, while warm-season grasses are cut at two inches.
Lawn Mower Safety
When working with your lawn mower, read your operator’s manual and pay close attention to all warning labels. See our Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips for more advice.
Wear proper clothing when mowing your yard; including a tucked-in shirt, long pants and closed-toed shoes with good traction. Secure or remove loose articles of clothing or jewelry so they don’t catch on the equipment.
Walk the mowing area first and clear any tools, toys, yard debris or other objects that could get thrown by the mower’s blade.
Before you start your lawn mower, check to make sure all safety guards and shields are in place.
Keep children inside and under supervision while mowing your yard. Never give children “rides” on a riding lawn mower. As a result, your children may run up behind you as you’re mowing, expecting another ride, where you can’t see or hear them.
Be careful not to run over your own toes when walking backward with a walk-behind mower.
When mowing in hot weather, make sure to drink plenty of water and rest frequently.
Lawn Mowing Techniques
To help retain stability when mowing hills, riding mowers should mow up and down, while walk-behind mowers should travel across hills. For a particularly dangerous hillside, consider planting ground cover or installing landscaping instead.
Use a lawn mower's higher speeds only for transport to the mowing area. While you’re mowing in a wide-open area, stay in control by using the medium speeds. Switch to low speeds as you’re turning corners and trimming borders.
Change the direction each time you mow the lawn to keep coarse grasses under control and ensure an even surface.
Lawn Mower Blade Clogs
Mower blades move very fast – about 200 miles an hour – so NEVER put your hand inside a mower to clear a clog. Shut off the mower and investigate jams using a stick or tool.
For anything more than a simple clog, take your lawn mower to a dealer for service.
Grass-cycling or Mulching
Grass-cycling can be done while simultaneously mowing the lawn. It is an important process that returns nutrients to the soil while taking care of the disposal of yard debris.
A mulching lawn mower cuts and re-cuts grass clippings into tiny pieces. Because grass clippings are 85 percent water, they decompose quickly, releasing nitrogen and other nutrients that feed the lawn.
Grass-cycling not only equates to an extra fertilizing every year but also helps prevent thatch. University tests have also proven that a thin layer of mulched clippings encourages microbial activity and discourages the development of fungal diseases.