The Correct Way to Mow Your Lawn
Cutting your grass is vital if you want to have a healthy, lush looking lawn.
Why? Because mowing your lawn increases the density of lawn, decreases the amount of weed, and promotes healthy growth.
But, to get the best results, you have to know what you’re doing.
THE FIVE BASIC STEPS
Overall, there are five steps you absolutely NEED to follow if you want to properly mow your lawn (and a bunch of tips to get better results we’ll cover in a little while).
These steps are:
1) REMEMBER NOT TO MOW ON A SCHEDULE
2) CHECK YOUR LAWN!
3) SET YOUR MOWER HIGHER.
4) VARY YOUR PATTERN
5) LEAVE YOUR GRASS CLIPPINGS BEHIND
While these steps may vary in importance, doing all them perfectly is one part of correctly mowing your lawn.
STEP ONE: REMEMBER NOT TO MOW ON A SET SCHEDULE.
To the people who mow their lawn on a set day every week, I have a little bit of bad news.
You’re doing your lawn a disservice by setting yourself up with a mowing schedule.
Mowing your lawn on a specific day doesn’t take into account the different growing conditions and patterns of your lawn throughout the changing seasons.
In the springtime, when grass grows so quickly it seems unreal, you might have to mow your grass twice a week.
But, when the summer heat or the temperature drop associated with late fall hits, your lawn will probably slow down growth-wise and only need to be mowed once every week or two.
While you CAN mow your lawn at any point as long as your mower blade isn’t set too low, it just isn’t necessary. Just beware of letting your grass grow too tall or that mowing process might need a few more steps added to it.
I personally recommend keeping an eye on your lawn. Pay attention to how tall the grass is and mow your lawn when it’s telling you it’s time.
STEP TWO: CHECK YOUR LAWN BEFORE YOU START MOWING
So your lawn is ready to be mowed. The grass is tall and you know you won’t be damaging it by mowing it.
But, before you even go get your lawn mower from the shed, go outside and check your lawn one last time.
If your lawn is wet, don’t mow it. Wait until later.
Mowing a wet lawn can result in an uneven final result. It can also make it so the clippings clog your lawn mower and/or create large clumps of grass clippings you leave on your lawn that in turn can lead to brown spots.
Typically, this means you’ll want to wait until evening to mow your lawn.
Your lawn will be dry (unless you had a rainy day) and any condensation that collected on your lawn the night before will have evaporated away by now.
Plus, mowing in the evening will allow you (and your lawn) to avoid stress from the heat. High temperatures at the peak of the day will make you sweat more and could also damage your lawn.
In any case, no matter the time, check your lawn for moisture before mowing!
If it’s wet, try again later.
STEP THREE: THE HIGHER, THE BETTER
We always recommend that you set your mower to the highest setting possible for your grass type.
You only want to cut the top ⅓ of each blade of grass when mowing and keeping the setting on high will help reduce the chance of your overmowing.
This is extremely important because longer grass blades help the lawn grow healthy, strong root systems that is more capable of resisting drought and disease damage.
Short grass will focus more on regrowing the damaged blades instead of focusing on developing those strong root systems.
There are some exceptions to this rule, but all of the sod and seed we offer thrive when you mow on the highest setting!
STEP FOUR: VARY YOUR MOWING PATTERN
Now that you’ve checked your lawn and adjusted the settings on your mower, it’s time to get to work.
At this point, you need to remember to vary your mowing pattern each time you mow your lawn.
Don’t insist on mowing your lawn in the same pattern or direction each time. Your lawn will begin to lean in the direction that you mow in and this can create ruts and other damaged areas in your lawn.
By changing things up, you’ll promote healthy, straight grass growth.
STEP FIVE: LEAVE YOUR CLIPPINGS BEHIND
After you’re done mowing, leave your grass clippings behind. They break down quickly and return essential nutrients back to the soil.
A lot of people assume leaving behind clippings leads to thatch - it doesn’t!
It just helps your lawn grow healthier and stronger.
LAWN MOWING MUST-DOS
While those five basic steps are the key to successfully mowing your lawn, there’s other things you just have to do!
All of these are pretty basic and don’t require a lot of extra work, but are vital in getting the beautiful, lush, green lawn of your dreams.
WAIT BEFORE YOU MOW YOUR NEW LAWN
Whether you have just installed new seed or new sod, it’s important to wait a certain period of time before you start mowing your lawn.
With sod, it’s not a long wait period. You can mow your lawn about a week after it’s fully installed, once it starts looking like it needs it.
We recommend using a walk-behind power mower with the cutting height set to 3” until the sod has fully rooted. Riding mowers are too heavy for freshly laid sod and could tear up portions of your new lawn.
You can usually start using a riding mower after about 3 weeks.
With seed, your first mow is a little farther off. Seed needs to spread its roots and grow healthy blades before you can mow it. Mowing too early can shock the plant and slow down future growth.
We recommend looking at the length of your grass blade to decide when your seeded lawn is ready to be mowed.
Bluegrasses, like our propular KBG strain, can be mowed when the blades reach 2-2 ½ inches.
You can begin to mow our Turf Type Tall Fescue when it reaches 2-3 inches.
Mowing at the correct length and the correct time is vital for healthy lawn growth.
SHARPEN YOUR BLADES
Once your blades begin to show signs of wear, it’s important to sharpen them.
You want to get a clean cut when mowing your grass so you don’t tear up the grass or cause any brown spots to appear. Mowing with a dull blade can also make your lawn weaker and more susceptible to insect damage, disease, and heat damage.
We recommend checking your mower once a year. Do a mower turn up and sharpen the blades on your mower.
A well-running mower with sharp blades will help you get the best mow, and the best lawn, possible.
Not only do we want your lawn to be healthy, we want you to be healthy and safe as well.
While lawn mowing is not especially dangerous, it’s important to take safety precautions when mowing.
Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes like sneakers or work boots. We don’t recommend sandals, flip-flops, or bare feet while mowing.
You may also want to consider wearing eye protection. Sometimes debris shoots up while you mow and could get caught in your eyes. Even wearing glasses or sunglasses are a small bit of protection from any potential hazards.
Additionally, keep an eye out for any small children or animals in the area. You may not hear them due to the noise of your mower so keeping your eyes open can prevent accidents.
TIPS & TRICKS
- Do not mow more than ⅓ of your grass blade off.
- Cutting frequency may need to be increased during spring and early fall due to faster growth patterns. Late fall and summer usually have slower growth patterns.
- When using a push mower, always push in the forward direction. Don’t go backwards!
- Avoid mowing midday. Temperatures will be at their hottest and you could cause damage to yourself and your lawn by mowing during that time period.
-If you bag clippings, consider using them in compost to return nutrients to the soil.