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!

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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.

Correct Height

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.

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Wet Soil

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.

Seasonal Growth

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.

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Mowing Direction

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!

2 Responses

  1. Charles Martin says:

    What if you don’t remember the type of sod put down?

    • Cameron Shimoda says:

      Hey Charles!

      Most conventional grass varieties are very similar in maintenance height, however if you are worried that you have a specialty variety on your property, I would suggest reaching out to the sod supplier and getting particular maintenance and mowing instructions. Some specialty grasses have specific needs and you can stress the plant heavily if those needs are not met.

      I hope this advice helps Charles and I wish you and your lawn all the best in the future,


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