Mowing Basics: A Refresher Course
Even though mowing your lawn is one of those chores you’ve been doing practically since you could walk, some people have a hard time remembering the mowing basics. The memory of your old man showing you how to cut straight lines across the yard has become hazy and you may have forgotten some of those helpful tips you once knew. A refresher course is exactly what you need to get your lawn looking healthy again!
The Basics of Mowing Basics: Sharpened Blades
Arguably, one of the most important parts of mowing basics is sharpening your mower blades. Ensuring your blades are sharp before cutting your lawn is one of the most important steps to a healthy lawn. The sharper the blades, the cleaner the cut! Mowing your lawn with a dull blade causes the leaves to tear instead of slice. This will leave the end of the leaves ripped and discolored. Your lawn overall will have a brown, ragged look. It is essential that you sharpen your mower blades at least one to two times per season.
Let’s bust a myth. Some homeowners believe that the shorter you cut your lawn, the longer you can go before mowing again. This is not true. Cutting your lawn too short actually creates an immense amount of stress for your grass and can make it more susceptible to diseases. This element of mowing basics requires some research. You can start your research here. Determine the variety of grass you have on your lawn and find out the optimal height for healthy growth. Maintain your grass at this height to ensure that the grass blades do not fall over on themselves and to encourage good root growth.
It is important to ensure the ground and grass is dry before you begin mowing. Wet grass is typically heavier than dry grass. This means the blades will lean over and cause your mower to leave behind areas of uncut or semi-cut grass blades. Overall, your lawn will look patchy and actually be at risk for fungal infections. You also run the risk of creating ruts in your soil with the weight of the mower. These can create tripping hazards and puddles on your lawn.
Growth rates vary significantly based on weather conditions throughout the year. Though it is tempting to mow on a consistent schedule, your grass requires you to be more flexible. During the seasons with heavier rainfall; Spring and Fall, your grass will grow rapidly and require more frequent mowing. This may mean upwards of two times per week. However, during the hot, dry summer months, your grass will go dormant and hardly any growth will occur. This is when you may not even have to mow once a week.
Are you mowing your grass the exact same direction each time? If you fail to vary the direction and angle at which you mow, the grass will lean and ruts may form. To keep your grass blades standing tall, make sure to switch it up every time you mow.
Mowing Basics for the Win!
Besides simply helping your lawn look better, getting back to the mowing basics helps promote a healthy lawn. Proper mowing practices help prevent weed growth and disease. Don’t forget, mow your lawn at a brisk walk; moving too slowly will clog the blade. Refresh your practice with these few tips and your lawn will love you forever!