Lawn Mowing Tips

Below are some excellent lawn mowing tips for the homeowner and professional lawn cutter.  Mowing is the art of manicuring your turf grass.  Creating and maintaining a healthy lawn is done by implementing proper mowing techniques.  Mowing plays such a vital part in establishing a turf grass.  No matter how much you fertilize or water your lawn, without proper mowing, your efforts are wasted.  Most people often overlook mowing as a factor in promoting a healthy lawn.  Below are a few lawn mowing tips to make your grass grow stronger and healthier.

How much to cut.

Remove only 1/3 or less of the grass blade at one given time.  If you remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade in one single cutting, you will stress the plant.  When the grass plant is stressed, it will force nutrients to be redirected from the roots to the grass blade.  If you remove too much of the grass blade, you will minimize the plant’s ability to make food for itself through photosynthesis.

You should mulch grass clippings instead of bagging grass clippings.  This process will help your lawn by producing natural fertilizer out of the trimmed portion of your grass.  Recycling your grass clipping can also maintain adequate thatch levels.  If you mow on a regular basis, your thatch level will usually stay at or below a 1/2 thick.  Regular mowing and recycling of grass clippings will not contribute to thatch build up.

Mowing at the proper height for your grass species and setting your mowing deck at the appropriate height for the season will help maintain a healthy cut.  It is recommended that Kentucky bluegrass is cut at 2.5 inches during the spring and fall months and 3.5 inches during the summer.  The height is determined by measuring from the dirt level to the top of the grass blade.

Turf Density

How to cut your grass.

There is a proper way to cut grass to maximize efficiency and quality.  Below is a quick rundown on how to mow your lawn the right way.

  • Always mow with your discharge shoot facing in towards your lawn.  Do not aim your discharge chute at any object that could be damaged with a flying object.
  • Mow two perimeter passes around your property.  A perimeter is necessary for two reasons.  First, it helps keep grass clippings on your lawn.  Secondly, it gives you a place to turn around your mower after you finish your cut line.  Without a perimeter around your property, grass can be missed, and it may take extra effort to turn your mower around.
  • After your perimeter, start mowing on one side of the property.  When you are done mowing your first straight line, turn your mower around and begin a new line.  It is important to overlap your mower deck about 1″-2″ so that you do not leave any standing grass.  Continue this back and forth process until you are finished with your lawn.
  • Each week it is important to alternate your mowing pattern.  Mowing the same direction every week will create ruts from the tires.  You may also notice that the grass will lay down instead of being cut.

After lawn mowing.

After you are finished mowing, it is essential to make sure that all grass clumps are removed.  There are several ways to do this.  You can double cut the section that is clumping.  Going over the same area multiple times will help spread out the grass clippings.  It may be necessary to bag the clippings if there are too many and they cannot be mulched in.  Another option is to rake the clumps up or use a leaf blower to distribute them over the property.  To finish your lawn mowing, we always recommend string trimming the property and blowing off grass clippings.

Proper lawn mower maintenance.

Maintenance of your equipment is an essential part of proper lawn mowing.  You should do a quick inspection of your equipment before each use.  Check for loose or missing pieces that may contribute to the quality of your cut.  Missing deck wheels may lead to scalping. Flat tires or low tires may lead to an uneven cut causing scalping. It is crucial maintain your equipment because if you take care of your tools, they will take care of you.

Mower Blades

Mower blades should be sharpened after every three hours of operation.  Keeping your mowing blades sharp, will cut your grass instead of ripping it.  Balancing your mower blades is important to make sure each side of the blade is the same weight.  This process can be accomplished by buying a cheap pyramid level at a hardware store.  Replacing bent or damaged blades will also help the quality of your lawn cutting.  When replacing your mower blades,  it is crucial to replace them the right side up.  If installed upside down, they can damage your lawn.

Scraping grass build-up off of your mower deck will keep your blades working properly.  This cleaning will help during the mulching process because it will allow for more movement of cut blades of grass.  The cut blades of grass are thrown into the air between the blades and mower deck.  The blades will be chopped multiple times before being dispersed out the side discharge chute of your mower.