It’s the sound and smell of spring and summer – a lawn mower cutting through the grass. A simple chore, or is it? What are some lawn mowing best practices?
Here we’ve broken them down into maintaining a lawn mower, getting specific about grass, height of your grass, and a few additional insights.
Lawn Mower Maintenance
Let’s begin with how to maintain a lawn mower to get the best results from it and your lawn.
First, the mower blades need to be sharpened. Why? Just like with pruning, the sharper the grass is cut the better it will do in the heat of the sun and with keeping out diseases. A sharp mower blade will also require fewer passes over the lawn. A further tip is to make certain the blades have the correct angle after sharpening and that they are balanced so there is no wobble while mowing.
Second, it’s important to check the level of the oil and gas in the lawn mower. Oil is necessary to keep the engine lubricated and running smoothly, while a full tank of gas will potentially allow you to mow the lawn all at once instead of stopping to refill.
Third, don’t bag the grass clippings as they contain needed nutrients for the grass and will make for a healthier, thicker lawn. They should also decompose quickly enough to not cause any unsightliness on the lawn.
Finally, as electric mowers are gaining in popularity it’s a lawn mowing best practice to remember to have the battery fully charged before starting to mow.
Type of Grass in Your Lawn
Does your lawn have Bermuda grass? Or maybe Fescue or Zoysia? The type of grass in your lawn is essential to know as it influences everything from the height of the cut to when your mower blade will need to be sharpened.
Thinner-bladed varieties of grasses tend to do better at shorter heights of 1 to 2 inches, while wider-bladed varieties need to be taller at 3.5 or even 4 inches.
Some grasses start growing quickly after winter so they will need to be cut earlier in the spring, while others will need a final, shorter cut in the autumn to help them through the winter. Whatever the height your grass prefers, you should not mow more than ⅓ of its height at any one time because it could raise the potential for diseases or other types of damage.
In addition, mowing too much at once can stress the grass, causing your lawn to look patchy or dry. Finally, grass should be kept longer in shadier areas in order to remain healthy with less access to sunlight.
This is an extra step, but an important one for the most vibrant and sustainable version of your lawn. And for turf grass you can check out our guide on mowing turf grasses.
Height of Your Grass
As mentioned above, the height of the grass is important to its health as well as how it looks from the curb.
Therefore, it is a lawn mowing best practice to have an adjustable deck on the mower or at least adjustable wheel heights so that the grass can be cut to the appropriate height. This includes taking into account the rule of not mowing more than ⅓ of the grass at any one time
Frequency of Mowing
The frequency your lawn needs mowed is dependent on the height you choose as well as on the variety of grass.
Some grasses will grow more quickly in the spring or early summer and others will grow most vigorously in the summer. Weather also affects how frequently to mow a lawn as a wet lawn needs to be allowed to dry out before mowing.
One final tip is to collect any debris, but specifically tree branches or rocks, so that the blades of the lawn mower are not dulled and no injuries occur.
Lawn Help With Gecko Green
There is a lot of information to process about mowing, so if you find yourself overwhelmed don’t feel bad about calling in the professionals.
Gecko Green doesn’t mow lawns, but it will take care of your lawn’s weeds, fertilization, and aeration needs and you will enjoy the benefits throughout the summer without a drop of your sweat!